Scientists propose methods of cleaning nuclear waste to save the planet
In the world there is an urgent need for safe storage of nuclear waste, which can be easily released into the environment. A new study carried out by Professor of Engineering and Geological Sciences University of Notre Dame, Thomas Albrecht-Schmitt, shows thorium borate (NDTB-1) as the compound crystal structure, which can be used to secure the absorption of radioactive ions from nuclear waste streams. When the radioactive ions are extracted, they can be replaced by highly ionized molecules of similar size, and the resulting material recycled for further use.
If we consider that the radionuclide technetium (99Tc) can be found in almost all the world's nuclear waste storage, the calculation is obtained simply. There are more than 436 nuclear power plants in 30 countries, which produce large amounts of nuclear waste. As a result of all the nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons testing in the period from 1943 to 2010 produced about 305 tons of technetium, and the issue of safe storage is discussed throughout this time.
«NDTB-1 is the key. Each crystal has its lattice structure with billions of pores, allowing anions are replaced by a variety of pollutants, in particular, to those used in the nuclear industry, for example, chromates or pertechnetate, "- said Albrecht Schmitt.
Scientist and his team conducted a series of successful experiments with crystals NDTB-1, during which time it was removed about 96% radionuklidoy technetium. The results were published in the periodical Advanced Functional Materials.