Patented Technology for Processing Radioactive Wastewater from Nuclear Medicine Therapy Facilities in Hospitals and Clinics
While undergoing nuclear medicine therapy using 131I radioisotope at a hospital, patients generate wastewater with a considerable amount of radioactivity. Thus, contamination can reach levels of as much as 90% of the radioactive dose administered to the patient, depending on the type of therapy the patient underwent. Given its radioactive half-life of 8.02070 days, there is a significant risk of 131I radioisotope accumulation after its discharge into the sewer network (through sanitary wastewater) and into the environment. Therefore, it is advisable to collect this effluent in a separate system for its treatment prior to final discharge to the municipal sewer.
Delay and decay (natural decomposition of the isotope) is the most commonly used technology for abating 131I, but it is frequently criticised as being complex and very expensive. While searching for alternatives to this well-proven but old-fashioned technology, EnviroDTS developed an alternative method called BioChroma, which is patent-protected. BioChroma enables to switch from a batch system (delay and decay plants) to a more flexible throughput system, where the effluent can be continuously decontaminated.
For more than 30 years EnviroDTS plants have been designed, built and distributed in Germany by EnviroDTS Wasser-Abwasser-Technik GmbH, a member of the EnviroChemie group of companies.
Main advantages offered by the BioChroma system compared with processing systems that based on the delay and decay principle:
- BioChroma is a patent-protected technology, which guarantees a competitive edge.
- Thanks to its high degree of technological innovation and lower requirement of reaction volumes, overall space requirements can be reduced by 50 %.
- The combination of the various process steps allows a more flexible operation.
- BioChroma provides sufficient capacity to absorb sudden peaks, thus offering considerably enhanced comfort to final users (e.g. unlimited shower water operation).
- The nuclear medicine department can be easily extended (by up to 30 %) on short notice.
- Unpleasant odours do not present any problems whatsoever throughout the entire system, due to the absence of anaerobic zones.
- A fully automated operation allows savings in personnel costs.
- Elimination of the risk of possible leakages or cross-contamination of the various radioactive effluents.
- Fewer safety measures have to be taken, since large holding tanks and their associated collecting basins (which are normally installed in systems that adopt the delay and decay principle) are not needed anymore.
- Thanks to their modular design, BioChroma systems are easy to install, irrespective of any on-site obstacles (e.g. cellars with a difficult access).