Vitrification technology planned for use at Hanford's vitrification plant has been installed at the Savannah River, N.C., Defense Waste Processing Facility.
The technology blows argon gas bubbles into melters that combine radioactive waste and glass-forming materials to produce a stable waste form. The bubbles help maintain a more uniform temperature throughout the molten glass and allow a higher temperature operation, which increases the rate of waste treatment.
The enhanced bubbler technology was developed at the Vitreous State Laboratory of the Catholic University of America and commercialized by EnergySolutions.
The Hanford vitrification plant is expected to begin treating waste in 2019.