Los experimentos que desde el año 2000 se llevan realizando en el Paul Scherrer Institut suizo han concluído con un éxito rotundo. Pronto dispondremos de una tecnología capaz de «quemar» mediante bombardeo con neutrones los restos radioactivos de las centrales nucleares.
Valuable experience for the treatment of nuclear waste
With their high energy, neutrons can be used for feeding a subcritical reactor system in which highly radioactive substances such as neptunium, plutonium, americium and curium, found in long lived waste from nuclear power plants can, in principle, be transmuted into short lived or even stable elements. Megapie has provided valuable information for developing this technique, even if according to experts, there is still a long way to go on this road.
Yet the prospect of being able to incinerate radioactive waste caused considerable international interest in Megapie. The project costs of 50 Million Euros were shared by many partners, including the EU. Since 2000, an interdisciplinary team has assiduously set up the experiment and conducted countless tests. The 170 strong group consisted of scientists, engineers and technicians from nine research institutes from Europe (CEA, CNRS, ENEA, FZK, PSI, SCK·CEN), Japan (JAEA), Korea (KAERI) and the USA (DOE). The experiment required extremely high standards of safety and put high demands on the technology and materials used.
PSI was responsible for the installation and assembly of the target and for the operation of the complex system. Extensive safety controls were involved which were overseen by the Swiss Federal Office of Public Health (FOPH).
La nota de prensa completa aquí: Neutrons for research and nuclear waste disposal
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