Application 1068 picture and sketch of a Spinionic rotating bed reactor

Nuclear In-Situ Liquid Waste Processing

Digital Flyer: Spinionic™

Spinionic™ is a patented technology that uses a Rotating Bed Reactor (RBR) to remove radioactive or other undesired species from wastewater or other aqueous solutions.

Developed for the pharmaceutical industry by SpinChem, a Swedish technology company, AtkinsRéalis, collaborated with us to advanced the technology for use in the nuclear sector. Spinionic™ provides in-situ processing for drums, totes, large tanks (2000 m3), or larger ponds, fuel pools, sumps, and large area basins. Replacing or protecting large mobile or in-plant column-based ion exchange systems, or membrane systems.



Fig. 1. RBR S2 including flow pattern.

How it works

The contaminated liquid is ideally first sampled and tested to determine the best solid phase (’media’) for the desired removal of the contaminant. Both, experimentation and CFD modeling determine the RBR size and rotation speed. The selected media is loaded into the four RBR compartments. One or multiple types of different media may be loaded or mixed. Next, the RBR is attached to the deployment hardware and drive motor and is mounted to or above the container or solution.

Finally, the RBR is lowered into the contaminated liquid and the drive motor is engaged at the desired speed. Centrifugal forces draw the solution in through the top and bottom openings, forcing it through the media loaded annulus and out through the outer wall retention screen. The solution is continuously circulated through the RBR while at the same time the tank/container contents are mixed.


Fig. 2. CFD modeling of RBR in 2700 m3 tank.


Fig. 3. 60-litre RBR for tanks, ponds, pools.


The Spinionic™ RBR can be provided in sizes ranging from less than one liter to over 100 liters of media capacity, depending on the application. The deployment equipment, frame, and drive motor are all sized to fit through container doors or tank manways. Larger deployments such as open basins, sumps, and pools may require more than one RBR to adequately circulate the solution.

The only infrastructure required to support operations is electrical power. Depending on the solution volume and tank size, the deployment equipment and motor size are chosen.


Fig. 4. 5-liter RBR for reactor applications.


Spinionic™ may be used either as the sole processing method or can be deployed as pre-treatment upstream of installed equipment. In its capacity to protect other installed systems, it minimizes the risk of extended downtimes and can actively allow to minimize waste generation. Moreover, the Spinionic™ RBR might also be used as a polisher downstream of existing equipment. Its typical characteristics include:

  • cost effective deployment
  • much lower cost than traditional column systems
  • can be loaded with any media a column unit might hold too
  • simple and fast deployment/demobilization
  • reduced waste generation

Spinionic™ use cases

  • Scavenging of oil and grease using activated granular carbon
  • Removal of a wide range of ions with standard anion and cation exchanger
  • Isotope specific removal with ion-specific exchange media
  • Removal of activity from chemically tainted solutions with elevated levels of acid or caustic solutions
  • On-site treatment of waste solutions or spills that do not have an existing pathway to other processing equipment
  • Conditioning solutions prior to plant equipment
  • Polishing of solutions after plant process equipment

Used in-situ as a pre-treatment process for existing equipment, it may avoid the costs associated with spent media disposal, new media replacement and existing system downtime, and operator exposure. In most applications, the RBR is installed and ready for operation in less than a day whereas mobile column systems that can take two or more weeks and require numerous support services, pipe interface connections and procedures. Demobilization can also be completed in less than a day. The RBRs are dried and disposed of as waste.


Fig. 5. RBR loaded with two different media.

Key design advantages

  • Mounted to the container/tank opening or suspended above open containments, the RBR can run in-situ for hours, days or weeks without operator intervention.
  • Since the process is in-situ, no hoses, pumps, filters, ion exchange columns and associated shielding is required.
  • Small amount of equipment that can be installed or demobilized in less than a day saving plant support and associated costs.
  • No piping interface, service water, air or drain connections required, only electrical power.
  • The RBR mixes and processes at the same time.
  • It can be used for day-to-day processing such as spent fuel pool clarity.

Reduced costs due to

  • fast deployment/demobilization with minimal operational/engineering support
  • less operational risk, no hoses or pressurized systems
  • less waste generation through more effective media utilization
  • reduced operator exposure
  • normal tank sampling to determine progress/results

Fig. 6. Six Vessel Volumn System. Hoses, pumps, shielding and 150 ft3 media.

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