Hydraulic behaviour of nuclear waste flows

S. R. Biggs, M. Fairweather, D. Harbottle, B. Lin, J. Peakall

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference paperConference paperpeer-review


A great deal of existing nuclear waste is stored as a solid-liquid slurry, and the effective transportation of such systems is an essential element in the successful implementation of almost all waste treatment strategies involving particulate wastes within the nuclear industry. A detailed knowledge of turbulent, particle-laden liquid flow behaviour is therefore obviously important. However, systematic and detailed studies of solid-liquid flows by experimental investigation are still limited for pipe flows, contrary to the significant amount of work available for channel flows. Research is therefore required to understand the effects of physical parameters, such as particle shape, size and size distribution, and solids concentration, on the properties of solid-liquid systems, particularly in horizontal pipe flows where particles may settle out of the flow and form solid beds which can potentially lead to pipe blockages. The presence of particles in a turbulent pipe flow also modifies the characteristics of the flow, thereby changing its ability to maintain particles in suspension The work described concerns pipe flows over a Reynolds number range of 1,000-10,000, with varying levels of solids concentration within the flow. Measurements of the flow and particle characteristics have been gathered using particle image velocimetry (PIV) and, for high solids concentrations, ultrasound Doppler velocity profiling (UDVP) techniques. This work has demonstrated that the intensity of turbulence within such flows can be significantly affected by the presence of solid particles, with small particles generally attenuating turbulence levels, while large particles often augment turbulence levels from the pipe centre-line to the near-wall region. In addition, the coagulation of particles into larger agglomerates is also of importance, with data demonstrating that whilst turbulence levels are influenced and augmented by such agglomerates at low Reynolds numbers, high turbulence levels at high Reynolds numbers can destroy the agglomerates and reduce their effect on the carrier fluid. Work has also been undertaken to examine the effect of particle size and Reynolds number on particle deposition within the flows, and also to establish the minimum transport velocity required to re-suspend particles from solid beds. All these findings are of importance in enhancing our understanding of flows of particles in pipes which in turn is of value in enabling the design of cost effective and efficient waste treatment processes.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationASME 2009 12th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management, ICEM2009
Number of pages8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes
EventASME 2009 12th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management, ICEM2009 - Liverpool, United Kingdom
Duration: 11 Oct 200915 Oct 2009


ConferenceASME 2009 12th International Conference on Environmental Remediation and Radioactive Waste Management, ICEM2009
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


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