The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is currently processing high-level waste (HLW) through a Joule-heated melter (JHM) at the Savannah River Site (SRS) and plans to vitrify HLW and Low activity waste (LAW) at the Hanford Site. Over the past few years at the Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF), work has concentrated on increasing waste throughput. These efforts are continuing with an emphasis on high alumina concentration feeds. High alumina feeds have presented specific challenges for the JHM technology regarding the ability to increase waste loading yet still maintain product quality and adequate throughput. Alternatively, vitrification technology innovations are also being investigated as a means to increase waste throughput. The Cold Crucible Induction Melter (CCIM) technology affords the opportunity for higher vitrification process temperatures as compared to the current reference JHM technology. Higher process temperatures may allow for higher waste loading and higher melt rate.
Glass formulation testing to support melter demonstration testing was recently completed. This testing was specifically aimed at high alumina concentration wastes. Glass composition/property models developed for DWPF were utilized as a guide for formulation development. Both CCIM and JHM testing will be conducted so glass formulation testing was targeted at both technologies with a goal to significantly increase waste loading and maintain melt rate without compromising product quality.