Formulation of nuclear waste conditioning glass results from a compromise between waste loading, glass technological feasibility and its long-term behavior. Up to now borosilicate glasses formulated at CEA and elaborated at La Hague plant by Orano to condition nuclear waste are homogeneous when molten. That means that today glass formulation is determined such as solubility limits of each constituting elements of waste aren’t exceeded in order to avoid phase separation (implying typically Mo, S, P) and/or crystallization (implying typically Fe, Ni, Cr, Zn, Al, Ce, Cs, Ti…) leading to a two-phase molten glass (liquid-liquid or liquid-solid).Today CEA would like to explore the impact of solid particles in suspension in the molten glass and in the final glass canister on respectively the glass technological feasibility and its long-term behaviour.
The proposed study focuses on the molten glass technological feasibility. The presence of solid heterogeneities in the melt is known to lead to a modification of some of its physical properties – notably its rheology, as well as thermal and electrical conductivities, and can generate settling phenomena. Yet these properties are in the heart of vitrification process control and modelling. This study will then investigate the impact of crystals in the molten glass on vitrification process control and modelling.