The goal of this project is to examine two potential concerns regarding the long-term performance of a proposed cesium/ strontium waste form. To facilitate long-term storage, up to 300 years, the disposal containers will need to be able to survive for the entire storage interval. The first aspect of the project will explore the potential interaction of the aluminosilicate waste form with the storage canister materials to determine if there is any corrosion or chemical interaction concerns for the storage of the materials.
At the end of the storage interval, most of the 137Cs in the waste form will have decayed to its daughter, 137Ba. While this decay provides a significant reduction in the decay heat generated by the waste form, it poses a new concern. Barium is hazardous, and is identified by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as a hazardous constituent under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). To dispose of any material containing a RCRA-identified constituent, the material must be demonstrated to be durable enough to prevent the release of the hazardous component or must be treated as hazardous waste. For the Cs/Sr waste stream, failure to contain the barium within the waste form would require disposal as a mixed waste stream, greatly increasing the disposal costs. Understanding the potential impacts of radioactive damage, high storage temperatures, and the crystallographic impacts of the decay transmutation itself on the performance of the waste form 300 years from now poses a significant challenge.
Aluminum silicates; Barium; Cesium; Radioactive wastes—Storage; Strontium
Nuclear | Nuclear Engineering | Radiochemistry
Evaluation of Cs/Sr Waste Form for Long Term Storage and Disposal.
Available at: https://digitalscholarship.unlv.edu/hrc_trp_waste/5