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Development of Glass Melter Technology for HLLW Vitrification in Japan

[+] Author Affiliations
Akira Sakai, Hajime Koikegami

IHI Corporation, Yokohama, Japan

Nobuyuki Miura

Japan Atomic Energy Agency, Tokai, Ibaraki, Japan

Eiji Ochi

Japan Nuclear Fuel Limited, Rokkasho, Aomori, Japan

Paper No. ICONE22-30693, pp. V004T08A011; 13 pages
  • 2014 22nd International Conference on Nuclear Engineering
  • Volume 4: Radiation Protection and Nuclear Technology Applications; Fuel Cycle, Radioactive Waste Management and Decommissioning; Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Coupled Codes; Reactor Physics and Transport Theory
  • Prague, Czech Republic, July 7–11, 2014
  • Conference Sponsors: Nuclear Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-4594-3
  • Copyright © 2014 by ASME


This paper describes the development of glass melter technology, primarily the liquid fed joule-heated ceramic melter process (LFCM) for the vitrificaton of high-level radioactive liquid waste (HLLW) since 1977 in Japan. In 2013 the active test at the vitrification facility (K-facility) in Rokkasho commercial reprocessing plant was successfully completed for the final acceptance test.

During this period many activities on LFCM process development have been carried out in the engineering scale or the full-scale inactive cold tests including the radioactive laboratory scale hot tests. In particular, the design of melter bottom structure and the operating method should be optimized in order to avoid the operational problems caused by accumulation of noble metals (Ru, Rh, Pd), electro-conducive deposits on the melter bottom.

Through the operation of inactive and active test facilities in Tokai, the design basis for the Tokai Vitrification Facility (TVF) has been provided. The hot operation of the TVF was started in 1995 to demonstrate the LFCM process including the performance of the melter off-gas clean-up system etc. The TVF has provided the basis of the process design and the operation method for the K-facility melter in Rokkasho.

In case of commercial scale vitrification, the glass production rate of the melter should be several times larger than that of the TVF. The K-facility full-scale inactive mock-up melter (KMOC) has been planned to confirm the influence of scale-up factors and the difference between Tokai and Rokkasho wastes. Through the testing operation of the KMOC, which was initially started in 2000, it has been found that the stable formation of a cold cap on a molten glass surface is fundamentally important to avoid the excessive precipitation of noble metals and the yellow phase formation.

The active test of the K-facility has been proceeding under the same conditions as the KMOC, and was successfully completed in May, 2013.

The advanced glass melter development programs have also commenced from 2009 to ensure a more robust and noble metals are compatible with the LFCM system and also to provide a higher processing rate. The second K-facility full-scale inactive mock-up melter (K2MOC) has been installed in the vitrification technology development facility (X-14) at Rokkasho. Its testing operation has commenced from November, 2013.

Copyright © 2014 by ASME
Topics: Glass , Vitrification



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