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New geopolymer to be trialled at Fukushima

New geopolymer to be trialled at Fukushima

A new proprietary technology is being used in a research and development programme at the striken Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan, to make radioactive waste safer.

Amec Foster Wheeler announced that the work, carried out in partnership with Fuji Electric on behalf of the Japan Atomic Energy Agency, will centre on the “Sial matrix”, a specialised geopolymer technique for encapsulating various radioactive waste streams.

The research will test whether Sial can be used to solidify sludge arising from the damage at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant caused by the earthquake and resulting tsunami in March 2011.

Amec Foster Wheeler Clean Energy Europe business vice president for decommissioning Andy White said: “We believe that Sial can make a significant contribution to the restoration of Fukushima. Together with our partners Fuji Electric, we appreciate the support shown by the Japan Atomic Energy Agency for the important work we are carrying out.”

Fuji Electric general manager of the nuclear power engineering department Hiroshi Ozaki said: “Sial has already been used successfully in commercial power stations in Europe. Fuji believes it has great potential and wishes to spread this technology in Japan together with Amec Foster Wheeler.”

The value of the contract was not disclosed.

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