Disposing Nuclear Waste By Turning it Into Nuclear Glass
Nov 08, 2013 19:45
While nuclear power may be the answer to a lot of energy questions and problems, it is its waste that creates a problem. Turns out, there's a new way to get rid of it safely - by turning it into glass.
You can take whatever plutonium-contaminated waste and mix it with some blast furnace slag and using a process called vitrification, you can turn the mixture into glass that locks the dangerous waste inside.
Engineers at the University of Sheffield have shown that it's possible to do just that, and shrink piles of nuclear waste down by 90 percent.
For now, all that waste gets encased in concrete and buried. But if it gets melted down to glass, the burial process may get a whole lot easier.
The method hasn't been tested on actual plutonium contaminated waste just yet, but if it holds up, we'll be having a much easier way to deal with whatever radioactive waste nuclear power produces. But then, what will we do with all that glass? [University of Sheffield]
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