All of GSI's nuclear waste immobilization technologies allow significant improvement in the amount of waste that can be loaded into a given volume of treated material (waste loading) while maintaining the requirements for stability. This improved waste loading can potentially generate large cost savings by reducing the number of canisters required for a given amount of waste, thereby reducing operating, storage and disposal costs. In addition, the improved waste loadings reduce the overall treated waste volume and can appreciably shorten the duration for treating a waste stockpile or increase the capacity for ongoing treatment plants.
The huge financial potential of GSI’s technologies is illustrated below by considering the potential benefits from the deployment of GSI-2000 at the Hanford Waste Treatment Plant in Washington State. Hanford is planned to treat more than 200 million liters of radioactive waste generated over the past 50 years by US defense programs. The production and disposal cost for a canister of high-level radioactive waste (HLW) and low-activity radioactive waste (LAW) at Hanford is estimated at $2M and $260K respectively. Specifically for Hanford HLW, GSI-2000 demonstrated an improved waste loading of 46% (as compared to the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) projected 31 wt%). Similarly, for Hanford LAW, GSI-2000 demonstrated an improved waste loading of 27 wt% (as compared to DOE’s projected 19 wt%). These improvements correspond to an estimated potential annual cost saving of some $500M. (For further detail, see the following report: Hanford HLW and LAW Waste Loadings: DOE vs. GSI-2000 Performance).