Study of radio frequency inductively coupled thermal plasma torch (RF ICPT) for radioactive waste treatment: thermoplastics - polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride (PVC)
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Despite advancements in technology and many progresses made in effort for radioactive waste (RW) treatment and overall management, there is still no final and ever lasting solution. Among the many RW materials originating from nuclear power plants (NPPs), thermoplastics such as polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and polyethylene (PE) contribute significant amount to the overall volume of RW. The presence of radioactive nuclides in PVC and PE waste originating from NPPs and their plastic nature (non-bio-degradable characteristics) present two challenges at once. To solve the challenges presented by such plastic RW, a thermal plasma waste treatment approach was considered. A radiofrequency (RF) inductively coupled plasma torch (ICPT) was designed in SOLIDWORKS and simulated using COMSOL Multiphysics software, and its thermal behavior was studied. Its applicability including advantages and shortcomings for such use was studied.