20.11.2015_No230 / News in Brief

Researchers From UK’s Imperial College Aim To Help In Fukushima Cleanup

Research & Development

20 Nov (NucNet): Researchers at Imperial College in London are collaborating with partners in the UK and Japan to develop processes for capturing and disposing of radionuclides in the approximately 3,700 tonnes of radioactively contaminated water collected every day at the Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear site. Engineers on the site are using several decontamination facilities containing waste filters to extract radionuclides from the water, but as yet, the authorities do not have an agreed solution for safely immobilising this hazardous leftover waste material, the college said. It said a team from its centre for nuclear engineering is developing a glass material to mix with the waste filters, which are melted to form a solid composite material that will be stable for thousands of years and suitable for disposal deep underground. The team aims to determine whether this material will be able to withstand the heat generated by the radionuclides as they decay. If it is sufficiently robust, this should mean the nuclear waste can be collected without the need for additional complicated processes for permanently sealing in the toxic material, processes that would be time consuming and expensive. Since the March 2011 accident at Fukushima, water has been used to cool the damaged cores and reactor buildings. As part of the cooling process more than 3,760 tonnes of radioactively contaminated water is collected per day. Details online: http://bit.ly/1PMeY6R

Related reports in the NucNet database (available to subscribers):

  • Japan And Kazakhstan To Cooperate On Fukushima Cleanup (News in Brief No.87, 03 May 2012)

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