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Current Research Projects

Glass Research Providing Risk Reduction for Direct-Feed Low Activity Waste (DF-LAW) Vitrification Plant Startup
This research involves glass-melting, thermal treatments, structural characterization of the crystalline and glassy phases, and chemical durability assessments in support of the DOE/ORP Waste Treatment Processing efforts. Primary technical focuses are: the suppression of foaming due to redox effects, increase of Na2O and SO3 loading, increase the solubility of volatile radionuclides, suppression of crystallization in LAW glass, and control of K-3 refractory corrosion.
(Partners: Rutgers, PNNL; Funding DOE-EM)
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Separated waste stream immobilization of iodine and offgas caustic scrubber solution
This project aims to produce a set of waste forms from separation of iodine from the caustic offgas scrubber solution. The primary caustic scrub containing iodine, halides, and carbonate will be immobilized in a glass-bonded composite of cancrinite/sodalite. The iodine-loaded silver sorbent will be stripped of iodine, converted to NaI, and immobilized into a separate durable glass-bonded iodosodalite waste form. (Partners: Rutgers, PNNL, ANSTO; Funding DOE-NEUP)
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Studies and Analyses of Compositional Dependence of Glass Corrosion Associated with Nepheline Formation
We will systematically explore nepheline crystallization and chemical durability with simplified glass systems, starting with various Na2O-SiO2-A
l2O3 compositions, then building complexity  to add several other important components, such as CaO, B2O3, Li2O, and Fe2O3.  By this tiered approach we will build on the understanding of the effects of the different components on the susceptibility to nepheline formation in complex nuclear waste glasses for immobilization of Hanford wastes. Data-driven, machine-learning models will be created to predict the formation of nepheline as a function of glass composition and thermal treatment. The interpretation of these models will provide quantitative insight to the forces driving nepheline crystallization in high-level waste glasses. (Partners:  PNNL, Rutgers; Funding: DOE-ORP)
Related Publications

Representation of nepheline structure viewed down [001]

Formation and Alteration of Old Glass
This project focuses on studying and analyzing natural and anthropomorphic analogue glasses of great age for the purposes of testing glass alteration models needed to predict long term performance of nuclear waste glass after disposal.  One focus is on glasses from the Swedish hillfort Broborg, and includes rock melting experiments, characterization, and glass synthesis, with the goals of providing sufficient understanding of the ancient process that suitable synthetic glasses can be made in the laboratory for alteration testing.  Additionally, we are exploring natural geologic glass and other archaeological glasses to see if any other readily available and relevant materials might be available and appropriate for study.  (Partners:  PNNL, Sheffield, Tekedo, Smithsonian; Funding: DOE-ORP)

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