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Investigation of Processing Parameters for the Consolidation of Actinide Glass-Ceramic Wasteforms by Hot Isostatic Pressing

  • Stephanie Thornber (a1), Paul Heath (a1), Ewan Maddrell (a1) (a2), Martin C. Stennett (a1) and Neil C. Hyatt (a1)...

Abstract

Glass-ceramics were developed initially for the immobilization of miscellaneous Pu-residues at the UK’s Sellafield site from which it was uneconomic to recover Pu for reuse. Renewed interest in the immobilization of a portion of the UK PuO2 stockpile has led to glass-ceramics being evaluated for bulk Pu immobilization. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) in the UK have proposed hot isostatic pressing (HIP) as a potential consolidation technique for the processing of these wasteforms. In this study, zirconolite based glass-ceramics were investigated to determine an optimum formulation. The yield of zirconolite is shown to vary with glass composition and glass fraction, such that a higher Al content favours zirconolite formation. The sample preparation process is discussed to highlight the importance of a high temperature heat-treatment during sample preparation to achieve high quality HIPed wasteforms.

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