Nuclear Waste to Glass!

A major nuclear waste treatment facility at the Hanford cleanup site in Washington which was built through a public-private partnership with Bechtel National— is set to start operations soon.

The facility transforms liquid and solid nuclear waste into non-radioactive glass bricks, which can be safely stored underground. This initiative aims to address the environmental and health concerns associated with nuclear power plants, particularly the legacy of radioactive plutonium from Cold War-era nuclear warheads.

The Hanford site recently advanced its plans after completing a successful test that produced 30,000 pounds of vitrified glass. The first of the two 300-ton melters is expected to be operational next year, marking a significant step in the risk reduction for the Hanford environmental cleanup mission.

Out of the over 100 tanks of radioactive plutonium waste stored underground at the site, 20 of these have some sort of leak. This new waste treatment will be a great solution for addressing this problem.

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