New toxic waste sponge idea holds water

Scientist tackling problem of radioactive waste

Sponge absorbs radiation

They created a toxic waste sponge

The sponge is not only more efficient – it’s good news for the wallet too

Many experts predict the innovative filter will improve the feasibility – and affordability – of nuclear energy on a global scale


The breakthrough method for capturing radioactive waste from nuclear power plants was developed by scientists at Rutgers University, analyzed by Wake Forest computational physicist Timo Thonhauser and post-doctoral assistant Stephanie Jensen, and measured by researchers at the University of Texas-Dallas. The new molecular trap uses a metal-organic framework (MOF) that acts as sponge for nuclear waste. “Our capture method far outperforms all current technologies and may change the landscape of energy production worldwide,” said Thonhauser. Findings from the team’s project, which was entirely funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, were published in the journal Nature Communications.

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