Application 1062 3D rendering of a gantry crane over a steel plate shielded IBC unit

Case Study: Spinionic™ Vessel & Container Deployment

Chalk River

SpinChem entered into an agreement with AtkinsRéalis in 2019 for exclusive rights to their Rotating Bed Reactor (RBR) technology in nuclear environments. RBR has been tested and patented, and the use of this technology in nuclear power is called Spinionic™. The versatility of Spinionic™ allows it to be deployed straight into a vessel, or into a separate container to which the effluent is pumped.

This case study demonstrates two concept designs by AtkinsRéalis for a single site, one in-situ deployment and one deployment of an RBR into a separate container. Multiple large underground vessels are approaching decommissioning. The 70 m3 of vessel effluent has high levels of radioactivity, particularly gamma radiation, of which Cs-137 is the main contributor. Therefore, the purpose of Spinionic™ deployment is to cut the Cs-137 concentration.

underground vessel

Atkins solutions and added value

The container deployment of the RBR requires pumping of the effluent from the underground vessel to a ground-level IBC adjacent to the underground trench access risers. The IBC is shielded with a steel plate.


shielded IBC & gantry adjacent to trench access risers


shielded IBC, lifting gantry and drum


Effluent batches are pumped into the IBC, where processing is undertaken with an BR, before the effluent is returned to the main vessel. Once the IBC is drained, the RBR is spun-dry, before being raised into a shielded flask after being disconnected from the top of the IBC. An A-frame gantry lifts the flask onto a disposal drum, into which the RBR is subsequently lowered. Multiple RBRs can be stored in a single drum, depending on RBR size and dose. Batch processing of the effluent is then repeated until the required levels of decontamination are achieved.


cross-section of IBC


cross-section of drums


Alternatively, an RBR could be deployed directly into the vessel by drilling a hole through the concrete above it and lowering the RBR and motor down a guide rail, as illustrated below:


example of in-situ deployment


Both concepts rely on quick release technology developed by SpinChem® and SNC Lavalin to minimize exposure for the operator.


quick release technology

Services provided

  • 3D concept design and illustration in Autodesk Inventor
  • Client presentation of concept proposals


Key benefits and success factors

  • multiple workable concepts and quick release mechanism
  • versatile deployment of Spinionic™
  • AtkinsRéalis and SpinChem's 2D and 3D CAD capabilities

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