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[en] The Geo-Heat Center provided (1) direct-use technical assistance, (2) research, and (3) information dissemination on geothermal energy over an 8 1/2 year period. The center published a quarterly bulletin, developed a web site and maintained a technical library. Staff members made 145 oral presentations, published 170 technical papers, completed 28 applied research projects, and gave 108 tours of local geothermal installations to 500 persons
[en] The main aim of this project is the preparation of a specific data base of geothermal properties for typical rocks of the Swiss Molasse Basin (depth interval 0-500 m). The project includes the development of a new laboratory tool for efficient heat capacity measurements on rock samples, numerous new measurements of geothermal rock properties in the laboratory and calculation of such data from geophysical borehole logs. In the geographical area under review, 282 rock samples, mainly from deep boreholes, were analyzed with the successfully calibrated new heat capacity device and conventional thermal conductivity measuring techniques (cuttings and cores). Based on sonic and density log data from exploration wells, 374 additional data points were generated. This new data base characterizes in detail the six main lithological rock types in the three Molasse groups OSM, OMM and USM within the Swiss Plateau Molasse. The statistical evaluation of all data illustrates the regional variation of the petrophysical and geothermal parameters. For most data groups bulk rock density and thermal conductivity increase, whereas heat capacity decreases in the direction towards the Alpine front. Thermal conductivity shows a distinct increase with depth. Based on this new information and with the aid of the evaluation software tool SwEWS, the costs of planned geothermal installations can be optimized thanks to more precise heat extraction simulations with existing software packages like COSOND, TRNSYS, EWS or WPcalc. (author)
[en] 'Treatment of High Level Waste (HLW) is the second most costly problem identified by OEM. In order to minimize costs of disposal, the volume of HLW requiring vitrification and long term storage must be reduced. Methods for efficient separation of chromium from waste sludges, such as the Hanford Tank Wastes (HTW), are key to achieving this goal since the allowed level of chromium in high level glass controls waste loading. At concentrations above 0.5 to 1.0 wt.% chromium prevents proper vitrification of the waste. Chromium in sludges most likely exists as extremely insoluble oxides and minerals, with chromium in the plus III oxidation state . In order to solubilize and separate it from other sludge components, Cr(III) must be oxidized to the more soluble Cr(VI) state. Efficient separation of chromium from HLW could produce an estimated savings of $3.4B. Additionally, the efficient separation of technetium , TRU, and other metals may require the reformulation of solids to free trapped species as well as the destruction of organic complexants. New chemical processes are needed to separate chromium and other metals from tank wastes. Ideally they should not utilize additional reagents which would increase waste volume or require subsequent removal. The goal of this project is to apply hydrothermal processing for enhanced chromium separation from HLW sludges. Initially, the authors seek to develop a fundamental understanding of chromium speciation, oxidation/reduction and dissolution kinetics, reaction mechanisms, and transport properties under hydrothermal conditions in both simple and complex salt solutions. The authors also wish to evaluate the potential of hydrothermal processing for enhanced separations of technetium and TRU by examining technetium and TRU speciation at hydrothermal conditions optimal for chromium dissolution.'