Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home

Evaluation of the long-term behavior of potential plutonium waste forms in a geological repository

  • Guido Deissmann (a1) (a2), Stefan Neumeier (a1), Felix Brandt (a1), Giuseppe Modolo (a1) and Dirk Bosbach (a1)...

Abstract

Various candidate waste matrices such as nuclear waste glasses, ceramic waste forms and low-specification “storage” MOX have been considered within the current UK geological disposal program for the immobilization of separated civilian plutonium, in the case this material is declared as waste. A review and evaluation of the long-term performance of potential plutonium waste forms in a deep geological repository showed that (i) the current knowledge base on the behavior and durability of plutonium waste forms under post-closure conditions is relatively limited compared to HLW-glasses from reprocessing and spent nuclear fuels, and (ii) the relevant processes and factors that govern plutonium waste form corrosion, radionuclide release and total systems behavior in the repository environment are not yet fully understood in detail on a molecular level. Bounding values for the corrosion rates of potential plutonium waste forms under repository conditions were derived from available experimental data and analogue evidence, taking into account that the current UK disposal program is in a generic stage, i.e. no preferred host rock type or disposal concept has yet been selected. The derived expected corrosion rates for potential plutonium waste forms under conditions relevant for a UK geological disposal facility are in the range of 10-4 to 10-2 g m-2 d-1 and 10-5 to 10-4 g m-2 d-1 for borosilicate glasses, and generic ceramic waste forms, respectively, and ∼5·10-6 g m-2 d-1 for storage MOX. More realistic assessments of the long-term behavior of the waste forms under post-closure conditions would require additional systematic studies regarding the corrosion and leaching behavior under more realistic post-closure conditions, to explore the safety margins of the various potential waste forms and to build confidence in long-term safety assessments for geological disposal.

Copyright

References

Hide All
1. International Panel on Fissile Materials, Global fissile material report 2011, (Princeton, NJ, 2012) 42 p.
2. Health & Safety Executive, Annual figures for holdings of civil unirradiated plutonium, www.hse.gov.uk/nuclear/safeguards/civilplut12.htm (2013).
3. Department of Energy & Climate Change, Management of the UK’s Plutonium Stocks, (London, 2011) 33p.
4. Clements, T., Lyman, E. and von Hippel, F., Arms Control Today 43, July/August (2013).
5. Lutze, W. and Ewing, R.C., in Radioactive waste forms for the future, edited by Lutze, W. and Ewing, R.C. (Elsevier, Berlin, 1988) p. 699.
6. Donald, I.W., Metcalfe, B.L. and Taylor, R.N.J., J. Mater. Sci. 32, 5851 (1997).
7. Macfarlane, A., Science & Global Security 7, 271 (1998).
8. Ewing, R.C., Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. 96, 3432, (1999).10.1073/pnas.96.7.3432
9. Stefanovsky, S., Yudintsev, S.V., Gieré, R. and Lumpkin, G.R., Geological Society of London Special Publications 236, 37 (2004).10.1144/GSL.SP.2004.236.01.04
10. Donald, I.W., Waste immobilization in glass and ceramic based hosts: Radioactive, toxic and hazardous wastes (Wiley, Chichester, 2010), 507 p.
11. Deissmann, G., Neumeier, S., Modolo, G. and Bosbach, D., Review of the durability of potential plutonium wasteforms under conditions relevant to geological disposal, (Aachen, 2011) 85 p.
12. Deissmann, G., Neumeier, S., Brandt, F., Modolo, G. and Bosbach, D., Elicitation of dissolution rate data for potential wasteform types for plutonium (Aachen, 2011) 98 p.
13. Wellman, D.M., Icenhower, J.P. and Weber, W.J., J. Nucl. Mater. 340, 149 (2005).10.1016/j.jnucmat.2004.10.166
14. Harrison, M.T. and Scales, C.R., Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 1107, 405 (2008).10.1557/PROC-1107-405
15. Harrison, M.T., Scales, C.R., Bingham, P.A. and Hand, R.J., Mater. Res. Soc. Symp. Proc. 985, 0985-NN04-03 (2007).
16. Ewing, R.C., Prog. Nucl. Energy 49, 635 (2007).10.1016/j.pnucene.2007.02.003
17. Ewing, R.C., Min. Mag. 75, 2359 (2011).10.1180/minmag.2011.075.4.2359
18. Lumpkin, G.R., Elements 2, 365 (2006).
19. Weber, W.J., Navrotsky, A., Stefanovsky, S., Vance, E.R. and Vernaz, E., Mater. Res. Soc. Bull. 34, 46 (2009).10.1557/mrs2009.12
20. Burakov, B.E., Ojovan, M.I. and Lee, W.E., Crystalline materials for actinide immobilisation (Imperial College Press, London, 2011) 197 p.10.1142/p652
21. Kang, J., von Hippel, F.N., Macfarlane, A. and Nelson, R., Science & Global Security 10, 85 (2002).10.1080/08929880213803
22. Macfarlane, A.M., Prog. Nucl. Energy 49, 644 (2007).
23. Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, NDA Plutonium topic strategy: Credible options technical analysis (Doc No: SAF/081208/006.2, 2009) 142 p.
24. Pierce, E.M., McGrail, B.P., Martin, P.F., Marra, J., Arey, B.W. and Geiszler, K.N., Appl. Geochem. 22, 1841 (2007).
25. Deissmann, G., Neumeier, S., Modolo, G. and Bosbach, D., Min. Mag. 76, 2911 (2012).10.1180/minmag.2012.076.8.06
26. Weber, W.J., Ewing, R.C., Angell, C.A, Arnold, G.W., Cormack, A.N., Delaye, J.M., Griscom, D.L., Hobbs, L.W., Navrotsky, A., Price, D.L., Stoneham, A.M. and Weinberg, M.C., J. Mat. Res. 12, p. 1946 (1997).
27. Weber, W.J. and Ewing, R.C., in Uranium – Cradle to grave, edited by Burns, P.C. and Sigmon, G.E. (Mineralogical Association of Canada, Short Course Series 43, 2013), p. 317.
28. Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Geological disposal: Generic disposal facility designs (Report NDA/RWMD/048, 2010) 129 p.

Keywords

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed