Jim Marra, an advisory engineer in the Materials Science and
Technology Directorate of the Savannah River National Lab, is an expert
on using ceramic and glass materials to convert extremely dangerous Cold
War era liquid nuclear wastes to a solid form that can last for
thousands of years. Untreated wastes typically have been stored in
million-gallon tanks that can corrode and leak. While not eliminating
the overriding dangers of highly radioactive materials, glassification
can literally lock up the wastes in solid forms that prevent their
escape for long, long times – until the solid wastes can be converted to
safer forms or used for alternative purposes. (The transmutation of
long half-life radioactive elements of short half-life elements is also
underway at SRNL. John Marra, Jim’s brother, discusses some of these
cutting edge techniques in this lecture.)

Marra received a B.S. degree in ceramic science and a B.A. degree in
mathematics from the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred
University, an M.S. in materials engineering from Worcester Polytechnic
Institute and a Ph.D. in ceramic and materials Engineering from Clemson
University. An ACerS Fellow, Marra is a member and past chair of the
Nuclear and Environmental Technology Division and is a member of the
National Institute of Ceramic Engineers.

9 minutes.

Credit: ACerS