Verification of reverse osmosis technology for treating primary coolant in Temelín nuclear power plant.

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Research Centre Rez, Hlavni 130, Husinec - Rez 250 68 Czech Republic

2 Research Centre Rez, Hlavni 130, Husinec - Rez, 250 68, Czech Republic

3 Research Cenntre Rez, Hlavni 130, Husinec - Rez, 250 68, Czech Republic


In nuclear power plants, an evaporator treats primary coolant and other liquid radioactive waste containing H3BO3. Because its operation is expensive, reverse osmosis (RO) was suggested as an alternative technology. A pilot-plant unit of RO was installed in Temelín NPP and tested with the real primary coolant. Altogether, three Tests were performed with the real primary coolant containing various concentrations of H3BO3 and other components (H3BO3, NH3, K, and Li). The Tests were performed in a wide pH range with various feed flow rates and recoveries. The separation efficiency of individual compounds of primary coolant in RO was evaluated. We also monitored the rejection and decontamination factor of radioactivity represented by 134Cs and 137Cs isotopes. Dose rate measurements mapped radioactivity accumulation in the RO unit in the candle filter and in the membrane modulus. By performing the Tests, we obtained unique data about the operation of the RO unit in the NPP under real operation conditions, which has not been published before. The achieved results – high rejections of the primary coolant compounds, high decontamination factors, and low dose rates measured in the RO unit - proved that it is possible to use RO technology to treat the real radioactive primary coolant. The operation of the RO unit meets strict safety and operational rules of NPPs. We achieved a verified technology by installing the RO unit to the operating NPP and performing the Tests. Furthermore, we suggested a possible utilization of RO in NPPs based on the Tests results.


Main Subjects

Articles in Press, Accepted Manuscript
Available Online from 20 February 2024
  • Receive Date: 16 July 2023
  • Revise Date: 11 January 2024
  • Accept Date: 20 February 2024