A comment regarding nuclear waste - glass-passivating

Yesterday, I posted this entry: Two good articles on Nuclear Power and reader Dick had this comment:
Regarding nuclear waste - how is it we never hear about glass-passivating the waste? Mixing it with molten glass renders the waste immobile, impervious to loss, too heavy to steal by any ordinary means, too dilute to go critical, and allows recovery of precious molecules at some time in the future when we may need to recover them for reprocessing. Safer and easier to store in some mountain instead of in drums as we do it now. I first heard about this technology years ago - what's the problem telling folks? Science remains largely silent while the muckrakers and fearmongers run around agitating, some of them making a damn good living at it. Disfuckingusting.
Unfortunately, the effects of the radiation on the glass made it unsuitable -- the glass turned into a form that was much less durable and would fracture if you looked at it funny. I cannot find anything on line -- there is this paper in Nature from about a year ago -- here is the abstract:
Canned nuclear waste cooks its container
Estimates of radiation damage to materials have been too low.

Storing high-level nuclear waste without any leakage over thousands of years may be harder than experts have thought, research published in Nature today shows.

Ian Farnan of Cambridge University, UK, and his co-workers have found that the radiation emitted from such waste could transform one candidate storage material into less durable glass after just 1,400 years � much more quickly than thought.
Unfortunately, you have to be a subscriber to view anything more than the abstract... I remember hearing about this problem back in the late 90's. The current system of Nuclear Casks has been developed for quite some time and they are pretty much bulletproof. Here is a YouTube Video of some European and USA casks being tested. Nuclear Flask Endurance Testing in USA Pretty dramatic stuff...

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on April 22, 2008 9:14 PM.

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