Uranium Enrichment Corporation, South Africa (1988-1989)
(Recently known as Atomic Energy Corporation and South African Nuclear Energy Corporation)
Corrosion: Work was mostly of a theoretical nature, concentrating on corrosion prevention using cathodic protection in particular. Practical experience was gained in protection of steam kettles, the AEC (Atomic Energy Corporation) water supply line, demineralised water tanks and underground storage in concrete.
Water purification: Laboratory work was done on the dissolved air flotation (DAF) process used for phosphate removal. A number of techniques for the removal of fluoride from liquid effluent were investigated. Precipitation with fluorapetite proved to be the most effective and economical method.
Reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration were investigated as potential techniques to purify trade effluent. A pilot plant which coupled these two techniques was built and run over a two year period.
Boric acid is a neutron acceptor in nuclear reactors and must therefore be maintained above a specific concentration level. Silica coats the fuel elements and is thus disadvantageous. A reverse osmosis unit which removes the silica whilst allowing the boric acid to re-enter the primary water cooling system was built and commissioned at Koeberg Power Plant. Studies showed that more than 99.9% of Cerium could be removed from large volumes of aqueous solution by complexation with ammonia or Polymer-P and subsequent ultrafiltration through a 0.01 micron membrane.
Research into ceramic and dynamic ultrafiltration membranes was conducted in order that salts could be removed from oil at elevated temperatures.