Safe and Secure Regulators around the world require capturing radioactive ions inside glass for high-level waste disposal because of its durability and stability over what should be hundreds of thousands of years.
Decades of Global Experience GeoMelt has been deployed at sites in the U.S., UK, Australia, Japan and other locations since the 1990s
Proven Technology GeoMelt melters like this have been treating nuclear and hazardous waste since the 1990s, producing over 26,000 metric tons of glass for disposal
GeoMelt® has produced 26,000 tons of glass in the U.S., UK, Japan and Australia since the 1990s. Just how much is 26,000 metric tons?
Durability for Millennia
Vitrification – the process of converting something into glass – has long been considered an ideal choice for high-level nuclear waste by regulators internationally, because of its expected durability over hundreds of thousands of years.
GeoMelt® creates ultra-stable glass that is typically 10 times stronger than concrete, and more durable than granite or marble. Its leach-resistance is among the highest of all materials in the world.
Through vitrification technologies, Kurion offers an economical, practical way to protect the environment from the threats of nuclear and hazardous waste. GeoMelt® is ideal for solid waste and debris, while the Modular Vitrification System is designed for liquid waste.
Scientists at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratories are studying glass found in an ancient Roman shipwreck that dates back more than 1,800 years to further validate its long-term stability. Read more here.
Despite glass’s superiority, conventional vitrification technologies have been too complicated – and far too expensive – to deploy widely. Such technologies also require a homogeneous waste feed and are less flexible than GeoMelt®.
Conventional vitrification technologies
GeoMelt® Technology Paradigm Change
Kurion’s GeoMelt® has changed this paradigm. Unlike conventional vitrification technologies, the GeoMelt® system solidifies wastes into a glass matrix batch-by-batch. This provides tremendous flexibility in terms of the waste feed. It also dramatically lowers the total life-cycle cost for waste treatment.
GeoMelt® In-Container Vitrification (ICV)™
GeoMelt® In-Situ Vitrification (ISV)™
GeoMelt’s® batch-treatment process delivers the following benefits that create its significant cost advantage:
- Ability to customize the glass formulation and melting temperatures for a specific waste stream
- Reduction of the amount of pretreatment
- An increase in waste loading-capacity
- The significant reduction of maintenance costs
- A dramatic volume reduction
Proven and Commercially Used Worldwide
Initially developed by Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, GeoMelt® has been used successfully around the world.
The U.S. Department of Energy launched an $82M project to construct and operate GeoMelt® for Hanford Low Level Wastes. The system has the ability to produce 50 tons of glass per batch. To date, GeoMelt® is the only vitrification system that has received a permit to construct and treat Hanford’s low activity waste.
Today, Kurion is partnering with UK’s National Nuclear Laboratory to install a GeoMelt® plant at the Sellafield site in the UK to evaluate the technology for problematic waste streams that currently have no path to disposal.
Transforming Waste Into Glass
How It Works
GeoMelt uses electric current to melt glass former to produce glass. During the melt, hazardous wastes are destroyed from exposure to high temperatures, and radioactive isotopes are captured into a glass matrix.
The GeoMelt container is selected so that, after the melt, the glass within the container can be directly stored or disposed.
- Bulk Vitrification of Low-Activity Waste – Hanford site, Washington, USA
- Hazardous and Toxic Waste Treatment Facility – Mie Prefecture, Japan