Trapping radioactive atoms in glass
The above diagram shows the capacity of a vitreous structure, an amorphous structure, to absorb a large quantity of chemical species (silicon, boron, sodium, aluminium, oxygen, etc.) under normal circumstances. Special types of glass (left), like those used at La Hague, are also designed to incorporate the wide variety of elements present in spent fuel. Fission products and actinides are incorporated and form chemical bonds with the main components of the glass, which hold them captive.