skip to main content

Title: Crystallization in high-level waste glass: A review of glass theory and noteworthy literature

There is a fundamental need to continue research aimed at understanding nepheline and spinel crystal formation in high-level waste (HLW) glass. Specifically, the formation of nepheline solids (K/NaAlSiO₄) during slow cooling of HLW glass can reduce the chemical durability of the glass, which can cause a decrease in the overall durability of the glass waste form. The accumulation of spinel solids ((Fe, Ni, Mn, Zn)(Fe,Cr)₂O₄), while not detrimental to glass durability, can cause an array of processing problems inside of HLW glass melters. In this review, the fundamental differences between glass and solid-crystals are explained using kinetic, thermodynamic, and viscosity arguments, and several highlights of glass-crystallization research, as it pertains to high-level waste vitrification, are described. In terms of mitigating spinel in the melter and both spinel and nepheline formation in the canister, the complexity of HLW glass and the intricate interplay between thermal, chemical, and kinetic factors further complicates this understanding. However, new experiments seeking to elucidate the contributing factors of crystal nucleation and growth in waste glass, and the compilation of data from older experiments, may go a long way towards helping to achieve higher waste loadings while developing more efficient processing strategies.
  1. Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States