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Energy and Environment Directorate

Research Capabilities

Nuclear Waste Immobilization Technology

As leaders in waste glass technology since the late 1960s, the Radiological Materials and Technology Development group has had a major role in developing and advancing the vitrification technology being employed at the Hanford Site Waste Treatment Plant (Richland, Washington), the Savannah River Site Defense Waste Processing Facility (Aiken, South Carolina), and the West Valley Demonstration Project (West Valley, New York). We provide technical support to melter operations in areas of technology development and demonstration; process and equipment design; and advanced process diagnostics.

Members of our team are involved in current projects studying various aspects of waste forms for existing nuclear defense wastes and proposed wastes for a commercial nuclear fuel cycle. These waste forms are used for immobilizing high level waste (HLW), low activity waste (LAW), and various secondary waste from intermediate processes in radioactive waste treatment.

Project History

Some recent projects our clients, the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Environmental Management and Office of Nuclear Energy, have emphasized are:

  • Long-term glass corrosion in repositories
  • Increased waste loading in traditional silicate glasses and non-traditional phosphate glasses
  • Improved vitrification capacity by glass processing in next-generation glass melters
  • Improved throughput by understanding and controlling melting and cold cap processes
  • Waste forms for capture of volatile species of Tc and I including glasses, glass-ceramics, mineral phases, and metals
  • Low temperature waste forms for secondary waste or LAW including geopolymers, concretes, and minerals.
  • Design of radioactive wasteforms

Energy and Environment

Core Research Areas