Irradiated Graphite Matrix - IGM

The main problem of nuclear energy is the nuclear waste produced by this activity.

Each year, nuclear power generation facilities worldwide produce about 10,000 m3 of high-level waste including used fuel designated as waste.
Waste Management of nuclear waste for geological time periods is one of the key issues in the nuclear business for a reliable and sustainable development of nuclear energy production.

ALD France develops a new embedding material for radioactive waste, which guarantees a safe enclosure from the biosphere for millions of years.

What is IGM?

IGM is a glass graphite composite material:                                 

  • 80 % graphite
  • 20 % glass

The manufacturing process consists of a high temperature pressing under vacuum.
The resulting material has no pores and therefore cannot be penetrated by water.

Graphite is a geological stable material proven by its natural occurrence. However, its porous structure anticipates the use of graphite as long term stable waste matrix for final disposal. Aqueous phases can penetrate into the pore system and radionuclides absorbed on the surface will be dissolved.

IGM has still similar heat conductivity coefficients as graphite. Therefore only negligible temperature increase in the center of the IGM.

This problem is solved with IGM because of its closed pore system. IGM has a density higher than 99 % of theoretical density and therefore a negligible porosity. Therefore IGM represents a long term stable leaching resistant matrix for the embedding radioactive waste but additionally irradiated graphite, which has to be disposed as radioactive waste anyhow, can be used as feedstock material.



Manufacturing process of IGM

Advantage of IGM

  • High package density
  • Negligible porosity
    • No water penetration
    • Safe embedding material
  • Capture of volatile radionuclides
  • Flexible matrix for different waste types
  • High heat conductivity
  • Industrial available HIP process




Related page

Nuclear Scrap melting


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