Support US Department of Energy (DOE) cleanup mission at the Hanford site

In support of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) mission to remediate and restore U.S. Defense facilities, our access robotics and waste Separation & Stabilization technologies have been deployed with great effect.

The Challenge of Low Activity Waste


Tanks of Hanford site

A critical element of the cleanup effort at the DOE Hanford site, in Washington State, is to find a safe and efficient way to handle the 53 million gallons of radioactive waste held in 177 underground tanks.

In 2003, The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) invested $82 million in search of a supplemental technology to treat low-activity waste at the Hanford site. GeoMelt® was part of this multi-year project demonstrating the effectiveness of a bulk vitrification solution.



Design a fit-to-purpose GeoMelt® Vitrification system

With the intention of providing an effective solution to stabilize the radioactive waste, the GeoMelt® team went to work at Hanford in 2003 to design, construct and test the GeoMelt® In-Container Vitrification (ICV™) process.


Our GeoMelt® Vitrification system for Hanford low-level wastes has the ability to produce 50 tons of glass per batch. To date, GeoMelt® is the only vitrification system that has received a permit to construct and treat Hanford’s low-activity waste.


Geomelt In-Container Vitrification System


GeoMelt® mixes waste materials with glass formers and other additives. Heat is then applied to melt the soil and waste mixture, which dries into a solid glass form. During the Hanford project, 200 tons of glass were made at a rate of 50 tons per batch using GeoMelt®.

GeoMelt® vitrification destroys organic wastes and immobilizes radionuclides and heavy metals in an ultra-stable glass similar to obsidian and typically 10 times stronger than concrete.

Through this project, the GeoMelt® team successfully:

Created over 200 tons of a durable and leach-resistant glass

Produced complete design of a GeoMelt® ICV™ facility to prove the capacity and flexibility of the technology

Verified that all off-gas emissions were effectively treated before release and met air-quality requirements

Confirmed the acceptability of the glass composition over a range of waste stream

Additionally, a 10-year study conducted by the DOE confirmed GeoMelt® to deliver lowest life cycle cost