Waste2Glass, the vitrification of nuclear waste

Although highly effective, vitrification of nuclear waste is complex and costly. That’s why it’s reserved for the most hazardous, high-level waste(HA-VL). A process developed by Veolia would enable vitrification to be carried out very efficiently and at lower cost: Geomelt. To develop it, the major group has joined forces with EDF’s Cyclife to create Waste2Glass.

The Waste2Glass company

On November 30, 2021, Veolia Nuclear Solutions (then Asteralis) and Cyclife (EDF) jointly created Waste2Glass. The aim is to develop and market Veolia‘s GeoMelt vitrification technology. This is the second joint venture between the two giants in the sector, two years after Graphitech.

A pilot plant was located in Limay (78520). The joint venture, officially created on February 1, 2022, has moved next door to 291 Avenue Dreyfus Ducas, Limay.

GeoMelt technology

Geomelt will facilitate the widespread use of vitrification. Veolia has already processed 26,000 tonnes of radioactive waste using this process, notably in the United States.

The thermal vitrification process has several advantages:

  • Its industrial implementation would be“relatively simple“,
  • It would considerably reduce waste volumes compared with cement confinement
  • Its resistance to leaching (the slow dissolution of solids in the presence of water) would be extremely high.
Overview of GeoMelt vitrification developed by Veolia. Credit: Veolia

Here’s how it’s described:

GeoMelt technology uses an electric current to melt materials and vitrify them. During melting, hazardous waste is destroyed by exposure to high temperatures (which reduces it to simple chemical elements such as carbon, chlorine etc…) and radionuclides are captured in a glass matrix (this is not a coating but chemical bonds). The shape of the GeoMelt container is adapted so that, after melting, the glass inside the container can be stored directly with the geometry obtained.


The innovation has earned Veolia a World Nuclear Exhibition Award in 2021.


What is Waste2Glass?

Waste2Glass is a joint venture between Cyclife (EDF) and Veolia Nuclear Solution to operate and develop the Geomelt process, an innovative vitrification process.

What is the purpose of Waste2Glass vitrification?

Vitrification enables radioactive molecules to be chemically trapped (i.e. to mingle at the molecular level with the glass). The Waste2Glass innovation would enable more efficient vitrification and the vitrification of more voluminous waste.