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Jersey is currently stuck with many, many containers of asbestos which are in old, damaged storage units exposed to the elements. To read the shocking background to this story, click here. To find out how Kurion could help us, read on…

Who are Kurion (USA) and what have they achieved?

Kurion’s GeoMelt® technologies are a group of patented and proprietary vitrification processes that are configured in a number of ways to meet a wide range of site remediation and waste treatment needs.

More than 26,000 tons of vitrified glass has been safely and compliantly generated to stabilise nuclear, hazardous and mixed waste since the 1990s. These technologies result in the destruction of hazardous organics, immobilisation of radioactive materials and heavy metals, and the means to deal with difficult waste.

Asbestos vitrification option suitable for Jersey?
Asbestos vitrification option suitable for Jersey?

The GeoMelt® technologies use electric current to convert waste into a stable glass and crystalline product. The process uses soil or industrial mineral blends to provide the glass-formers necessary for vitrification.

The In-Container Vitrification (ICV™) process uses commercially available containers, which are then refractory lined to serve as the melt container.

Contaminated material is placed in the lined container and then vitrified. Capital and operating expenses are minimised compared to other alternatives because the ICV™ container and its simple lining system serve as the melter vessel and as the shipping and disposal container.

The GeoMelt® technologies hazardous chemical and radioactive waste into an ultra-stable, vitreous and crystalline material similar to volcanic obsidian that is typically 10 times stronger than concrete. The product is unsurpassed in leach resistance and is expected to maintain its physical and chemical integrity over many tens of thousands of years. Corrosion tests have demonstrated that the GeoMelt® product is more durable than granite or marble.

Case Studies

Japan: The GeoMelt® vitrification technology has been used commercially in Japan since 2003 for the treatment of hazardous waste, including asbestos, PCBs, dioxins, and other persistent organic pollutants. Operations safely and compliantly generate approximately 500 tons of vitrified waste annually.

Los Alamos National Laboratory, New Mexico: The GeoMelt® Sub-Surface Planar™ technology was successfully demonstrated at large-scale for the U.S. Department of Energy as part of an evaluation of potential remedies for mixed waste-contaminated-liquid waste adsorption beds at Los Alamos National Laboratory’s (LANL) Material Disposal Area-V (MDA-V) site. In April 2000, a full-scale “hot” (radioactive) demonstration melt was successfully performed within one of the adsorption beds. Approximately one million pounds of mixed waste contaminated soil was treated in this demonstration.

Hanford, Wash: At the Hanford site, a full-scale GeoMelt® plant for the treatment of Low Activity Waste (LAW) has been designed as a supplemental approach to treating a portion of the 47 million gallons of LAW. This plant was designed by GeoMelt® staff and their subcontractors and is based on more than five years of testing of simulated and actual Hanford LAW. This extensive testing has resulted in the production of more than 200 tons of glass and reflects the technology’s considerable process maturity.

How Kurion can help Jersey’s asbestos problem – December 2013
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