Richland-Built Technology To Treat Radioactive Water In Japan

Jun 9, 2014

John Raymont, founder and president of Kurion, stands inside one of his company’s containerized mobile strontium filter units. These shipping-container-like machines will be shipped from the build site in Richland to Japan’s crippled nuclear plant in July.
Credit Anna King / Northwest News Network

Japan’s crippled nuclear plant is bleeding hazardous radioactive water at a mind-staggering rate. Officials at Fukushima Daiich are filling 27-feet-tall tanks nearly every other day. Now, in southeast Washington, a company called Kurion is developing and building a mobile filter system to help deal with that troublesome radioactive wastewater.

The filtering system looks like five large shipping containers. Except, they’re awfully shiny and have a lot of high-tech whiz-bang pipes, electronics and tanks inside. Workers here are still welding, and testing the systems.

It’s sort of like a supersized Britta. The systems will filter about 79,000-gallons of water per day targeting radioactive strontium. Strontium is nasty stuff.
Right now it’s responsible for most of the radiation dose to workers on the Fukushima site.

John Raymont: “This is the main control panel …"

John Raymont is the founder of the company Kurion. He hopes that soon this mobile technology will be contracted with the federal government for use right here in the Northwest.

John Raymont: “This is going to demonstrate for them in real world, in real time whether or not this technology really works and give them a real opportunity to think about whether they can deploy the same concept for the tank farm here at Hanford.”

This filter system for Japan won’t clean up the water totally. But most of the highly radioactive stuff will be taken out after it’s gone through. Kurion is an international company that was founded in 2008. Recently it added about 100 engineers and workers here in Richland to design the filter.
This system will be demonstrated here for a Japanese nuclear delegation in early July -- right before it’s put on a gigantic airplane.

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