The effects of temperature, degree of agitation and neutralisation rate on the microscopic properties and the macroscopic behaviour of the suspension produced during the precipitation phase of British Nuclear Fuels' (BNFL) Enhanced Actinide Removal Plant (EARP) process are being examined. The microscopic characteristics are recorded using both in situ techniques (e.g., scanning laser microscopy (SLM)) to measure particle size distribution and ex situ techniques such as examination of a sample using a computer based image analysis system to assess apparent particle size and shape distribution. The macroscopic behaviour of the slurry is being characterised using ex situ techniques such as measuring final sediment volume and final solids concentration. The experimentally observed microscopic properties and macroscopic behaviour obtained for a range of varying processing conditions will then be used to train a neural network model. This model will ultimately be used to assess the set of processing conditions which are required to produce a floc with desirable characteristics and suspension behaviour (e.g., flocs which are easy to dewater).
Hildred, K. L., Townson, P. B., Hutson, G. B., & Williams, R. A. (2000). Characterisation of particulates in the BNFL enhanced actinide removal plant. Powder Technology, 108(2-3), 164-172. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0032-5910(99)00216-8