Canadian Consulting Engineer
AMEC melts radioactive wasteEngineering
AMEC has successfully tested a process for remediating radioactive waste. Its proprietary GeoMelt process uses elec...
AMEC has successfully tested a process for remediating radioactive waste. Its proprietary GeoMelt process uses electrodes to melt the waste at temperatures that can reach 3,600 degrees Fahrenheit/2,000 degrees Celsius. When the melt hardens, the contaminants are trapped in a glassy, solid mass that is 10 times stronger than concrete.
The tests were performed for the U.S. Department of Energy’s office at the Hanford Site, the world’s largest environmental clean-up project. Some of the tests were under contract to CH2M-Hill.
One of AMEC’s tests focused on the future underground treatment of buried vertical shafts containing nuclear waste. The other test is part of an ongoing demonstration program supporting the eventual retrieval and treatment of millions of gallons of radioactive waste stored in underground tanks.
The vertical shaft test successfully melted the entire shaft in just seven days, resulting in a monolith that matched its predicted size. In the tank waste tests, a 42-metric ton glass monolith was produced in eight days.