The ion exchange (IX) resins used to purify the water used in CANDU reactor systems contain high levels of carbon-14 (C-14) when they are removed from service. Due to the 5,730-year half-life of this radioisotope, waste IX resins from the moderator purification circuit are classified as intermediate level wastes (ILW). The cost of disposal of ILW is much higher than that for low level wastes (LLW).

Other, older technologies that have been used for treating IX wastes include thermal processes, acid stripping, supercritical fluid extraction, and non-selective ion exchange (salt regeneration) but these four technologies are complicated (sometimes involving high temperatures and pressures), have not been demonstrated on an industrial scale, and are not selective for carbon-14 removal. Some of them also produce toxic airborne emissions.

Our SCEPTER™ process selectively removes carbon-14 from waste ion exchange resins to reduce disposal costs, eliminate airborne emissions, and produce a radioisotope currently used for medical and industrial research and which is being considered for use in betavoltaic devices (nuclear batteries).

Disposal costs are reduced by concentrating the carbon-14 into a small volume, reclassifying the rest of the waste as LLW, and reducing the volume of that LLW. It is a mild chemical treatment that uses no highly hazardous chemicals (nothing corrosive, toxic, carcinogenic, or flammable) and produces no harmful environmental emissions. It operates under ambient temperature and pressure conditions.

Why Us?

  • Produces an In-Demand Radioisotope

    Carbon-14 is used in radiochemical R&D and as a radiotracer for medical, agricultural, and ecological research and may be used in Carbon-14 fueled betavoltaic devices, (nuclear batteries) that if successful would greatly increase the demand for this useful radioisotope.

  • Green Technology

    The process reduces the environmental impact, does not use any hazardous chemicals, operates at ambient temperature and pressure, and produces no airborne emissions. The proprietary carbon-14 extraction reagent can be recycled and reused.

  • One-of-Kind Patented Process

    We are the only company that offers this unique patented process that can produce a valuable isotope while reducing the overall environmental footprint.

  • Flexible, Scalable and Easy to Install

    The SCEPTER™ technology is an expandable modular design, which is scalable to meet any of your needs. It is portable and easy to install and access.

  • Dramatically Reduces Waste Disposal Costs

    SCEPTER™ enables the reclassification of resin waste from intermediate to low level resulting in savings of hundreds of thousands of dollars in disposal costs for each cubic meter of waste.

  • Industrial Scale

    Unlike many other resin treatment concepts, SCEPTER™ has been designed for full-scale applications so that it can dramatically reduce your waste disposal costs.