Nuclear waste, goodbye to the problem thanks to glass ceramic?

Gianluca Riccio

Energy

News from Canada: A special corrosion-resistant glass-ceramic could overcome current limitations in nuclear waste storage.

THEnuclear energy it represents a clean, low-carbon energy source, capable of contributing to the fight against climate change. However, one of the main obstacles to its diffusion is the management of radioactive waste. This waste, highly dangerous for humans and the environment, requires safe isolation for thousands of years.

Currently, nuclear waste is stored in borosilicate glass containers. It is a technology that has some limitations. Glass, in fact, is susceptible to corrosion over time, potentially releasing radioactive substances into the environment. A team of researchers from the University of Saskatchewan (Canada) has developed a new material that could revolutionize the storage of nuclear waste. And the hobs.

Glass ceramic, revolutionary characteristics.

Glass ceramic, as you know, combines the positive properties of glass (chemical and thermal resistance) with those of ceramic (hardness and stability). The result? A material extremely resistant to corrosion, able to contain nuclear waste for very long periods of time. How much? We see.

The glass ceramic has undergone rigorous testing to evaluate its resistance to water, acids and radiation. The results were very promising. The material has demonstrated very, very high corrosion resistance. Up to 100 times higher compared to borosilicate glass.

Nuclear waste glass ceramic
New possibilities from glass ceramics.

Step forward towards nuclear energy without any more thoughts

Testing of glass ceramics for nuclear waste storage is still ongoing. Of course, further tests will be needed, but the preliminary results are very promising. If this technology were to prove its potential, it could help make nuclear energy a safer and more sustainable option for energy production.

Let's stay practical, okay? The use of glass ceramics for nuclear waste storage could lead to:

  • Greater security. Reduction of the risk of release of radioactive substances into the environment.
  • Less environmental impact. Storage of a larger volume of waste in smaller containers.
  • Economic saving. Longer material life and lower maintenance costs.

Next steps

The team of researchers at the University of Saskatchewan is continuing to work on glass ceramics to further improve its properties. Studies are underway to optimize the composition of the material and to test its resistance in real conditions. Industry experts? They are enthusiastic. If you want to learn more, find it all here.

Glass ceramics represent hope for a more sustainable future of nuclear energy. If this technology were to confirm its potential, it could help overcome one of the main obstacles to the spread of nuclear energy.

Above all, it could help make it an important part of the fight against climate change.