Lead-Iron Phosphate Glass: A Stable Storage Medium for High-Level Nuclear Waste

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Science  05 Oct 1984:
Vol. 226, Issue 4670, pp. 45-48
DOI: 10.1126/science.226.4670.45


Results are presented which show that lead-iron phosphate glasses are a promising new waste form for the safe immobilization of both high-level defense and high-level commercial radioactive waste. Relative to the borosilicate nuclear waste glasses that are currently the "reference" waste form for the long-term disposal of nuclear waste, lead-iron phosphate glasses have several distinct advantages: (i) an aqueous corrosion rate that is about 1000 times lower, (ii) a processing temperature that is 100° to 250°C lower, and (iii) a much lower melt viscosity in the temperature range from 800° to 1000°C. Most significantly, the lead-iron phosphate waste form can be processed using a technology similar to that developed for borosilicate nuclear waste glasses.

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