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In brief: University wins nuclear waste bid

Sun., Sept. 20, 2009, midnight

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Catholic University of America has been awarded contracts totaling $36 million to convert liquid nuclear waste to glass at sites in Washington state and South Carolina.

The funding, announced Friday, is one of the largest research contracts in the Washington, D.C., school’s history. Its Vitreous State Laboratory is a leader in the field of vitrification, which renders liquid nuclear waste safe and stable.

The lab already is working at the nation’s two largest nuclear waste sites at Hanford in south-central Washingtion, and along the Savannah River in South Carolina. The new contract runs for six years.

Once nuclear waste is converted to glass, it remains radioactive but is contained. It will take decades, though, to convert millions of gallons of waste to glass.

‘Rumble strips’ cut down wrecks

OLYMPIA – Washington’s Department of Transportation says that “rumble strips” – the grooves cut into the center lines of two-lane highways – have dramatically reduced accidents.

In a quarterly report, the department says that between 2002 and 2008, serious injury and fatal collisions on roads where the strips were installed dropped by 57 percent.

The report also notes that the 522 traffic fatalities in Washington last year were the fewest since 1955, when there were 461.


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