Mobile fission and activation products in nuclear waste disposal

Abstract : When disposing nuclear waste in clay formations it is expected that the most radiotoxic elements like Pu, Np or Am move only a few centimetres to meters before they decay. Only a few radionuclides are able to reach the biosphere and contribute to their long-term exposure risks, mainly anionic species like I129, Cl36, Se79 and in some cases C14 and Tc99, whatever the scenario considered. The recent OECD/NEA cosponsored international MOFAP workshop focussed on transport and chemical behaviour of these less toxic radionuclides. New research themes have been addressed, such as how to make use of molecular level information for the understanding of the problem of migration at large distances. Diffusion studies need to face mineralogical heterogeneities over tens to hundreds of meters. Diffusion rates are very low since the clay rock pores are so small (few nm) that electrostatic repulsion limits the space available for anion diffusion (anion exclusion). The large volume of traversed rock will provide so many retention sites that despite weak retention, even certain of these “mobile” nuclides may show significant retardation. However, the question how to measure reliably very low retention parameters has been posed. An important issue is whether redox states or organic/inorganic speciation change from their initial state at the moment of release from the waste during long term contact with surfaces, hydrogen saturated environments, etc.
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Submitted on : Wednesday, March 18, 2009 - 11:34:59 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, February 7, 2019 - 2:51:23 PM

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Bernd Grambow. Mobile fission and activation products in nuclear waste disposal. Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, Elsevier, 2008, 102, pp.180-186. ⟨10.1016/j.jconhyd.2008.10.006⟩. ⟨in2p3-00369027⟩

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