Showcasing ANSTO’s Innovative Technologies at Phoenix’s Waste Management Symposia


The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) is taking its innovative ANSTO Synroc® and CORIS360® technologies to the world stage at the Waste Management Symposia 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona USA this week (10 – 14 March).

Joining over 45 other countries and around 3,000 attendees, an Australian Government contingent comprising of ANSTO and the Australian Radioactive Waste Agency is in attendance to showcase Australia’s extensive radioactive waste management capabilities.

Waste Management Symposia 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona USA
Conference Centre, Waste Management Symposia 2024 in Phoenix, Arizona USA

Executive Manager Consulting Services and Commercial Manager for Detection and Imaging at ANSTO, Dr Bruce Begg said ANSTO’s Synroc® is an exemplary model of how Australia’s innovative technologies in radioactive waste treatment and radiation imaging can benefit the global market.

“ANSTO Synroc® enables the safe, secure, and sustainable treatment of radioactive waste for nuclear supply chains around the world, converting it into a highly durable, compressed, disposal-ready product,” Dr Begg said.

“It offers a low-risk and cost-effective solution for the pre-disposal treatment of complex intermediate and high-level radioactive waste.

ANSTO Synroc - Canisters pre and post HIPing process
ANSTO Synroc – Canisters pre and post HIPing process

“The ANSTO Synroc® Waste Treatment Facility in Sydney will be the world’s first. It will treat intermediate-level liquid waste from ANSTO’s co-located nuclear medicine production facility.

“The facility has recently completed construction and is currently in the process fit-out and commissioning phase.

“Once operational, this facility will be a fully-automated, state-of-the-art radioactive waste treatment plant that will take liquid intermediate-level waste from the production of Molybdenum-99, and immobilise this into a highly-durable solid waste form ready for final disposal.

ANSTO'S SyMo Building
ANSTO’S SyMo Building

“This technology delivers on an end-to-end life cycle on radioactive waste for ANSTO’s nuclear medicine precinct at our Sydney campus, which has capacity to supply around 20 per cent of the global market for Molybdenum-99.

“Along with the benefits of a nuclear medicine production precinct comes a responsibility to the local and wider Australian communities to safely manage the by-product of radioactive waste, and ANSTO Synroc® is integral to achieving this.”

A crucial component of the Synroc® process is the hot isostatic press (HIP), which applies pressure and heat to specifically designed canisters of waste, to consolidate and reduce the waste volume. Installation and commissioning of the HIP and an automated conveyer system to transport HIP canisters have been completed.

Also on display at the WM Symposia is ANSTO’s CORIS360®, the world’s most advanced radiation imaging platform available for neutron detection, helping to make the invisible, visible.

ANSTO’s CORIS360® next to shipping containers

CORIS360® made headlines around the world last year for its instrumental role in the discovery of an 8mm-long missing radioactive source which was lost along a 1,400 kilometre stretch of highway in the Australian outback.

Described as a ‘finding a needle in a haystack’ feat, CORIS360® technology was mounted into the back of a vehicle travelling at 70km/h along the highway. The device detected a spike in gamma ray emissions from the capsule, located metres from the side of the road. CORIS360®, using its compressed sensing technology, was then quickly able to identify, image and locate the capsule among the gravel on the side of the road.

CORIS360® enables safe working environments, helping to identify and locate sources of radiation with speed and accuracy. Using four optical cameras, the portable device scans a 360 degree panorama and produces high

quality images up to 10 times faster than imaging systems. CORIS360® is helping to deliver benefits across many industries, including nuclear reactor operations, border protection and national security, defence and military, and decommissioning projects.

Marking 50 years of the WM Symposia, the large-scale expo brings together countries from around the world to exchange ideas on radioactive waste management and other cross-cutting topics.

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