Giannis Mpourmpakis Part of $800K DOE Study Targeting Safer Storage for Nuclear Waste

Giannis Mpourmpakis is part of a collaborative research team studying the corrosion behavior of glass containers often used to store nuclear waste. Its goal is to find solutions to reduce or avoid the degeneration of the containers. The U.S. Department of Energy awarded $800,000 to the project, titled “Formation of Zeolites Responsible for Waste Glass Rate Acceleration: An Experimental and Computational Study for Understanding Thermodynamic and Kinetic Processes.” 

About 20 percent of the electricity produced in the United States of America is generated at nuclear power plants, according to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). This means residents in one out of every five U.S. homes turn on their lights, use refrigerators and make toast – among other things – using energy generated by nuclear power plants. Additionally, nuclear materials and technology is used in other areas, including radioactive isotopes to help diagnose and treat medical conditions; irradiation to help make pest-resistant seed varieties; and radioactive isotopes to date objects and identify elements in research.

While nuclear power generation emits relatively low amounts of air pollutants like carbon dioxide, it does produce nuclear waste, which can remain radioactive “for a few hours or several months or even hundreds of thousands of years,” according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. As such, the safe storage and disposal of the radioactive waste is of paramount importance.

This news release originally posted at University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering.

Written by Rashda Khan, UH Cullen College of Engineering, 8/27/2018

Read more here