Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Glass Containers May Be The Answer For Nuclear Waste Disposal, Researcher Says

Date:
December 10, 1997
Source:
University Of Missouri-Rolla
Summary:
Glass may be the answer to safely dispose of nuclear waste, says a University of Missouri-Rolla scientist who recently received a patent for his research efforts to encapsulate plutonium in a special type of glass.

ROLLA, MO. -- Glass may be the answer to safely dispose of nuclear waste,says a University of Missouri-Rolla who recently received a patent for hisresearch efforts to encapsulate plutonium in a special type of glass.

Related Articles


Dr. Delbert E. Day, Curators' Professor of ceramic engineering at UMR,received the patent from the United States Patent Office for his researchinto ways to dispose of excess plutonium from dismantled nuclear weapons.

Day's method involves the use of a special iron phosphate glass tochemically dissolve the nuclear waste.

Day, also a senior research investigator in UMR's Graduate Center forMaterials Research, says it will take several decades and billions ofdollars to dispose of all the radioactive waste that was created from theproduction of nuclear weapons and electricity in the United States duringthe past 50 years.

But a special family of glasses hold promise as the means to safely disposeof much of the waste. The U.S. Department of Energy awarded UMR athree-year grant to research the unique iron phosphate glasses developed atUMR.

According to DOE, "If geologic disposal is the option selected fordisposition of plutonium, this research may result in a less expensive andsafer disposal." .

"The permanent disposal of the radioactive wastes generated over the past50 years is a major problem that will be with us well into the 21stcentury," Day says. It will be expensive, he adds, "but we must find amethod to safely dispose of these radioactive wastes, which will bepotentially dangerous for hundreds of years."

At UMR, Day is directing research to develop glasses to encapsulate this nuclear waste.

"We prepare simulated nuclear waste and determine how much of that wastecan be dissolved in the iron phosphate glasses," Day says. Through aprocess called vitrification, Day and his colleagues melt a mixture ofsimulated radioactive waste with a non-radioactive base material to form aglass that immobilizes the waste.

The glass must have an exceptionally good chemical durability and notrelease any of the radioactive waste to the biosphere, Day says.

"Iron phosphate glasses have the potential to be used with certain types ofnuclear waste," Day says. "The glass can then be stored in a repositorydeep in the Earth for thousands of years, with little or no chance of theradioactive materials escaping into the environment."

Day hopes to develop iron phosphate glasses which are well suited forcontaining nuclear wastes. Iron phosphate glasses have an exceptionallygood chemical durability and can dissolve certain types of nuclear wastewhich are not well suited for the borosilicate glasses that have beendeveloped for nuclear waste disposal.

Even though Day cautions that one type of glass may not work with everytype of nuclear waste, he adds, "Our ultimate goal is to develop glassesthat can contain large amounts of specialized nuclear wastes, areenvironmentally safe to use, and lower the cost of disposal."

The research project to develop iron phosphate glasses at UMR is beingconducted in collaboration with the Westinghouse Savannah River Co. inSavannah, S.C., and Battelle Pacific Northwest National Laboratories inRichland, Wash.

"Nuclear waste is presently stored in large steel tanks at both sites. Someof those tanks are leaking, so a better method of permanently disposing ofthat waste is needed," Day says.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Missouri-Rolla. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Missouri-Rolla. "Glass Containers May Be The Answer For Nuclear Waste Disposal, Researcher Says." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 December 1997. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/12/971210063125.htm>.
University Of Missouri-Rolla. (1997, December 10). Glass Containers May Be The Answer For Nuclear Waste Disposal, Researcher Says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/12/971210063125.htm
University Of Missouri-Rolla. "Glass Containers May Be The Answer For Nuclear Waste Disposal, Researcher Says." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1997/12/971210063125.htm (accessed October 31, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Friday, October 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Jaguar Land Rover Opens $800 Million Factory in Britain

Jaguar Land Rover Opens $800 Million Factory in Britain

AFP (Oct. 30, 2014) British luxury car manufacturer Jaguar Land Rover opened a $800 million engine manufacturing centre in western England, creating 1,400 jobs. Duration: 00:45 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
SkyCruiser Concept Claims to Solve Problem With Flying Cars

SkyCruiser Concept Claims to Solve Problem With Flying Cars

Buzz60 (Oct. 30, 2014) A start-up company called Krossblade says its SkyCruiser concept flying car solves the problem with most flying car concepts. Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Mind-Controlled Prosthetic Arm Restores Amputee Dexterity

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 29, 2014) A Swedish amputee who became the first person to ever receive a brain controlled prosthetic arm is able to manipulate and handle delicate objects with an unprecedented level of dexterity. The device is connected directly to his bone, nerves and muscles, giving him the ability to control it with his thoughts. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

Robots Get Funky on the Dance Floor

AP (Oct. 29, 2014) Dancing, spinning and fighting robots are showing off their agility at "Robocomp" in Krakow. (Oct. 29) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins