New Technology Reduces Radioactive Waste to One-tenth of Original Size

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HANARO research reactor in Daejeon. (image: Yonhap)

HANARO research reactor in Daejeon. (image: Yonhap)

DAEJEON, July 14 (Korea Bizwire)A South Korean research team has developed new technology that can help reduce the size of radioactive waste down to one-tenth of its original size.

The Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute said Tuesday that it had developed a new method of processing uranium waste currently stored at a petrochemical plant in the southeastern city of Ulsan by reducing its size by 70 to 90 percent, which will qualify it to be sent to the repository in Gyeongju, 370 kilometers southeast of Seoul.

The institute first liquified the waste, then precipitated the silicon that comprises more than 60 percent of the radioactive waste.

Silicon is harmless to the environment and can be processed easily.

The remaining waste, which contains uranium, goes through a special heat treatment to be formed into a solid object using cement and other substances and kept inside a…

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