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Characterization of Solidified Radioactive Waste and Container due to the Incorporation of High Density Polyethylene Granules and Powder in Mmortar Matrices

  • Aleksandar D. Perić (a1)


Powder and granules of the high density polyethylene (PEHD) were used to prepare mortar based matrices for immobilization of radioactive waste materials containing 137Cs, as well as containers for solidified radioactive waste form. Seven types of matrices, differ due to the percentage of granules and filler material added, were investigated. PEHD powder and granules were added to mortar matrix preparations with the objective of improving physico-chemical characteristics of the radwaste-mortar matrix mixtures, in particular the leach-rate of the immobilized radionuclide, as well as mechanical characteristics either of mortar matrix and container. In this paper, only mechanical strength aspect of the investigated mortar and concrete container formulations, is presented. The equivalent diameter of the PEHD granules used was 2.0 mm. PEHD granules were used to replace 100 volume percent of stone granules, sifted size of 2.0 mm, normally used in the matrix preparation, in order to decrease the porosity and density of the mortar matrix and to avoid segregation of the stone particles at the bottom of the immobilized radioactive waste cylindrical form. PEHD powder, particle size of 250 micrometre, was added as filler to the mortar formulation, replacing 5, 8 and 10 weight percent of the total cement weight in matrix formulation and 15 and 18 weight percent of the total cement weight in container formulation. Cured samples were investigated on mechanical strength, using 150 MPa hydraulic press, in order to determine influence of added polyethylene granules and powder on samples resistance to mechanical forces that solidified waste materials and concrete containers may experience at the disposal site. Results of performed investigations have shown that samples prepared with polyethylene granules, replacing 100 weight percents of the stone granules, have almost twice as much mechanical strength than samples prepared with stone aggregate. Samples prepared with PEHD granules and powder have mechanical strength resistance up to 13.5 percent higher than ones prepared with PEHD granules, solely. Improved Mechanical strength resistance of tested samples accommodates trend that functionally depends on the percentage of PEHD powder added in formulation.



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