The use of columns of the zeolite clinoptilolite in the remediation of aqueous nuclear waste streams

Alan Dyer, Joe Hriljac, Nick Evans*, Ian Stokes, Peter Rand, Simon Kellet, Risto Harjula, Teresia Moller, Zoe Maher, Ross Heatlie-Branson, Jonathan Austin, Scott Williamson-Owens, Manon Higgins-Bos, Kurt Smith, Luke O’Brien, Nick Smith, Nick Bryan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
189 Downloads (Pure)


Mud Hills clinoptilolite has been used in an effluent treatment plant (SIXEP) at the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing site. This material has been used to remove 134/137Cs and 90Sr successfully from effluents for 3 decades. Samples of the zeolite have been tested in column experiments to determine their ability to remove radioactive Cs+ and Sr2+ ions under increasing concentrations of competing ions, Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+ and K+. These ions caused increased elution of Cs+ and Sr2+. Ca2+, Mg2+ and K+ were more effective competitors than Na+. For Na+, it was found that if concentration was reduced, then column performance recovered rapidly.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2473-2491
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Issue number3
Early online date22 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Caesium
  • Clinoptilolite
  • Effluent treatment
  • Ion exchange
  • Strontium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Analytical Chemistry
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Pollution
  • Spectroscopy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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