I was reading a story recently from the Tri-Cities Journal of Business about a Pasco company that supplies ingredients to bake Hanford waste into glass. I've always been fascinated with the art of glass blowing and glass creations, so I thought I would look into how I could turn my own radioactive waste into glass at home. It turns out it's actually pretty easy!
Now, I'm no PNNL scientist, but I'm pretty sure I can vitricate, ya know? Start by using 3 to 5 gallons of radioactive waste (they have 56 million gallons of it at Hanford, I'm sure they'll give you a little...go to the front gate and tell them Woody sent ya). Now take a handful of silica which is used to make glass, and set your oven to 2100 degrees Fahrenheit. You will also need some lithium carbonate, so have that handy. There are nine or ten other chemicals that create the concoction that vitricates radioactive waste, stabilizing it and freezing it into the glass. I don't know exactly what those chemicals are but look under your sink. Anything that says Comet, Mr. Clean, or Formula 409 should help. Once your oven has reached 2100 degrees, mix the chemicals together and pour in the radioactive waste. If you spill some inside the oven, no worries as this is a tremendous oven cleaner (no scrubbing). Once your oven reaches 2100 degrees, bake for 35 to 45 minutes. If your concoction did not turn to glass then you probably need more sucrose, titanium, zirconium, or zinc.
Once you have created glass, you have also rendered the hazardous material inert (not really, it's just trapped in the glass, but whatever). It is now safe to display on a window sill, sell at garage sales, or let the kids shoot it with BB guns. Enjoy!
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