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China opens first radioactive waste glassification facility

This undated file photo shows the radioactive waste glassification facility in operation in the city of Guangyuan, Sichuan province. (PHOTO / CHINA ATOMIC ENERGY AUTHORITY)

CHENGDU – China's first plant immobilizing radioactive waste in glass has been officially put into operation in the city of Guangyuan, Sichuan province, according to the China Atomic Energy Authority.

The radioactive waste glassification plant can convert liquid nuclear waste with high-level radioactivity into a solid glass form suitable for long-term storage and disposal

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A test run started on Aug 27 and the first tank of solidified glass was produced from radioactive waste liquid. The project headquarters stated that the facilities of the plant have met relevant operating conditions and deemed it fit to start formal operation from Sept 11.

The plant can convert liquid nuclear waste with high-level radioactivity into a solid glass form suitable for long-term storage and disposal. China is one of the few countries globally to have mastered this technology.

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The project was approved by the China Atomic Energy Authority in 2004. It was designed jointly by China and Germany.