Scientists at the Diamond Light Source (DLS) research facility in Oxfordshire, England, presented findings on its radioactive waste-containment research at this year's American Association for the Advancement of Science's (AAAS) annual meeting in Washington, D.C., over the weekend.
Part of the work at the DLS facility involves nuclear energy research, specifically the nuclear fuel cycle and how to make it safer and more efficient. Leading the team is Claire Corkhill, a University of Sheffield professor, and Trevor Rayment, the facility’s director of Physical Sciences.
"I'm delighted to be speaking about my team's work at the AAAS,” Corkhill said. The research that the University of Sheffield is doing at Diamond is groundbreaking, and our findings could help to shape future approaches to radioactive waste disposal."
This research is focused on the reactions that cement has with water over long periods of time, up to 100 years. A report from the facility said research could play a role in long-term storage and disposal policy for nuclear waste in the U.K. and internationally. The planned Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) would utilize cement-based storage to hold nuclear waste, then these containers would be buried underground.
The team also has developed a new material for cement that is capable of absorbing radioactivity.