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Comment Processing & Handling

This MOF selectively captures radioactive iodine

By Scott Jenkins |

A challenge in recovering fissile material from spent nuclear fuel is separating radioactive components that cannot be reused as fuel. Researchers at Sandia National Laboratory (Albuquerque, N.M.; www.sandia.gov) have fabricated metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) capable of selectively capturing gaseous iodine from a stream of spent nuclear fuel. MOFs are crystalline materials in which metal atoms are bound to organic molecules that coordinate through self-assembly to form rigid and often porous three-dimensional structures. After extensive studies of iodine-capturing zeolites, the Sandia team used commercially available compounds to develop an MOF that is capable of capturing iodine within the pore structure of the material. The team also developed a process to pelletize the MOF material into a more stable and durable material, and one to incorporate the MOF with its pore-trapped iodine into glass waste for longterm storage.
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