Waste Not: Advances in Nuclear Waste Management
Legacy nuclear waste poses multiple challenges for safe long-term disposal and storage.
According to the World Nuclear Association, around 440 nuclear power reactors provided approximately 11% of the electricity used worldwide in 2015, and an additional 160 reactors are in the works today (gross capacity of ~ 160,000 MWe).¹ While modern nuclear plants have multiple processes in place to deal with the waste that is produced throughout the fuel cycle, legacy waste (existing waste dating back to the Cold War era) poses multiple challenges.
“Most legacy liquid HLW [high-level waste] is currently being immobilized to a solid form as a borosilicate glass by vitrification,” writes Mo-Sci Corp.’s Cheol-Woon (CW) Kim in this issue. What drawbacks does this method have, and what new technologies are being developed to overcome them? Turn to “Iron Phosphate Waste Forms for Nuclear Waste Disposal” to learn more.
For ceramic and glass manufacturers, waste in the form of scrap can add considerably to the bottom line. While many products that for whatever reason do not meet spec can be recycled or reused in the manufacturing process, eliminating (or at least reducing) scrap is always preferred. Luckily, various technologies can help manufacturers do just that. Take a look at “Acoustically Imaging Diamond Drill Bit Inserts,” “Redefining Density Measurement in Ceramics” and “3D Line Confocal Imaging of Glass and Ceramics” in this issue to see how these methods might benefit your operation.
What initiatives does your company undertake to reduce scrap and other waste during manufacturing? I’d love to hear about it! Please contact me at email@example.com or (248) 786-1704 to share your story.
1. “Plans for Nuclear Reactors Worldwide,” World Nuclear Association, January 2018, www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/current-and-future-generation/plans-for-new-reactors-worldwide.aspx.