China facility to process nuclear waste

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China has begun to build its first facility for disposal of highly radioactive liquid waste, using a technique that combines the liquid with glass to form a solid, the China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC) said on Friday.

The techniques for disposing of low and medium-level radioactive liquid waste are considered mature, but those for disposal of more radioactive grades still need breakthroughs.

With glass solidification, radioactive waste solution is processed and mixed with additives. It is then combined with glass and the mixture is heated. When it cools, it becomes a solid glass or ceramic product.

The CNNC said glass solidification is the most effective method to dispose of highly radioactive liquid waste. In cooperation with domestic and international institutions, the CNNC conducted successful tests of the technique and was awarded a construction permit in February.

The CNNC said the new permit will increase China's capacity in dealing with radioactive waste. Endi

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