The Cold Crucible Induction Melter (CCIM) technology has been identified in several independent reviews and studies as a potential alternative or supplemental vitrification technology for specific U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) high level radioactive waste (HLW) streams. These inventories have unique chemistries, such as high alumina, high iron, high chromium, etc., that are not amenable to efficient immobilization in conventional borosilicate glass (BSG) matrices. Advanced waste forms, such as iron phosphate glass (FePG), high crystalline BSG (HC-BSG), and alumino-silicate glass-ceramic (GC) have been shown to provide significantly improved immobilization matrices for these challenging waste streams, including dramatically improved waste loadings; however, they are difficult to efficiently process in the baseline joule-heated ceramic melters (JHCMs). The CCIM technology can effectively process these advanced waste forms at the desired high waste loadings.
This paper describes the most recent collaborative activities between the DOE Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM) and various Russian institutions in modeling, development and testing of advanced waste forms in CCIMs, including FePG and HC-BSG formulations. Additionally, past interactions with other international partners, including France and Korea, are described. Finally, recent enhancements to CCIM processing related to modeling, draining techniques and automated control, which were collaboratively developed, will be discussed.