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Scientists offer new technology to absorb liquid radioactive waste

February 20, 18:51 UTC+3 MURMANSK

Among most interesting new materials are the sorbents, which contain radionuclides, which can "extract" radioactive substances from waste, and further storage would not harm the environment

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© Lev Fedoseev/TASS

MURMANSK, February 20. /TASS/. Scientists at the Academy of Sciences’ Kola Scientific Center offer new nanomaterials to purify liquid radioactive waste. The Center’s representative Anatoly Vinogradov told TASS the new unique materials are similar to natural minerals.

"The most important part of work is to make synthetic titianosilicates, similar to Kola minerals from the Ivanyukit and Lintisit Group, which are used as sorbents, they are highly effective in processing of gained liquid radioactive waste," the scientist said. This work followed research at the Kola school of crystal and mineral studies, led by the Kola Scientific Center. In 2018 only, the school’s experts across the world opened 18 new rare minerals. More than half five dozen new minerals have been discovered over recent years.

Some of the minerals have unique characteristics to be used for the industry’s advance sectors.

"By using the natural analogues, our scientists have succeeded in getting analogues of natural minerals from available resources and industrial waste," he continued.

Among most interesting new materials are the sorbents, which contain radionuclides. They can "extract" radioactive substances from waste, and further storage would not harm the environment. Heating turns the sorbents into ceramic materials, which are resistant to water, acids, alkalis, high temperatures.

"It takes millenniums to decompose such ceramic materials, as they consist of analogues to natural minerals, which are hard to decompose, - Rutile, Purochlore, Hollandide and others," the expert continued. "Our tests have confirmed the new sorbents are effective and promising."

The scientists now face a task of making test consignments of new sorbents. For that, they make a facility jointly with the Kola Mining and Metallurgical Plant and the Apatit plant. The facility will go operational within 2019. "Thus, we shall begin big tests of the new materials to purify radioactive wastes, industrial waste from non-ferrous metals, and in other spheres," the expert said.

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