Japan’s Toshiba Energy Systems & Solutions Corporation has developed oxidation-reduction (redox) therapy know-how that permits sure parts to be extracted from vitrified high-level radioactive waste. The know-how will enable for the reuse of these parts and a discount within the quantity of high-level waste to be disposed of.
Vitrification is the method for immobilising high-level radioactive waste – equivalent to waste from the reprocessing of used nuclear gasoline – in glass. Elements contained inside vitrified waste embody palladium, selenium, caesium and zirconium, amongst different long-lived fission merchandise (LLFPs), which have a half-life of about a million years. Toshiba’s redox know-how makes use of molten salt to isolate 4 parts from vitrified waste, to provide doubtlessly reusable metallic.
The analysis was carried out underneath the Impulsing Paradigm Change by way of Disruptive Technologies (ImPACT) Programme. It was led by the Cabinet Office’s Council for Science, Technology and Innovation. The analysis goals to research the discount of LLFPs and the recycling of assets from radioactive waste, along with changing LLFPs into secure and short-lived nuclides.
The analysis workforce – which additionally consists of the Japan Science and Technology Agency – demonstrated that reusable parts could be separated from disposed vitrified wastes through the use of molten salt know-how. A joint assertion from the workforce stated the know-how, when mixed with different applied sciences being developed underneath the ImPACT program, equivalent to transmutation, might presumably result in geological disposal websites being smaller or much less deep than earlier than.
In assessments, the analysis workforce efficiently retrieved dummy LLFP nuclides as solids, molten salts and gases by lowering mock vitrified waste within the molten salt the place the silicon monoxide community constructions of the silicon dioxide have been dissolved. The radiation-tolerant molten salt can be utilized repeatedly leading to decreased quantities of secondary wastes. The workforce stated it’ll proceed analysis to supply a sensible system to reuse and minimise high-level radioactive waste.
(Source: Toshiba – Image: Fukushima waste disposal close to Okuma, Japan/Boston Globe)
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