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What might pass for a colorful quilt square actually will help guide efforts to treat radioactive waste stored in tanks at the Hanford Site in southeastern Washington state. This model was created by researchers at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and it represents magnetite, a substrate waste material. Magnetite, as the name suggests, is magnetic, and the pink and lighter green features represent the electron spin on the material’s uppermost iron atoms. Substitution of some of these iron atoms with nickel, zinc or cobalt could be beneficial for waste processing. It might make it possible to incorporate larger amounts of highly radioactive waste—particularly technetium—into glass formulations for vitrification at the Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant. The research is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of River Protection.

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Document Title: Model Behavior
Category: Science as Art
Media Type: Photos
Date of Image/Photo:
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URL of this page: http://picturethis.pnl.gov/picturet.nsf/by+id/DRAE-,4._FZ

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