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The Hydrothermal Stability of Cement Sealing Materials in the Potential Yucca Mountain High Level Nuclear Waste Repository

  • J. L. Krumhansl (a1), T. E. Hinkebein (a1) and J. Myers (a2)

Abstract

Cementitious materials, together with other materials, are being considered to seal a potential repository at Yucca Mountain. A concern with cementitious materials is the chemical and mineralogic changes that may occur as these materials age while in contact with local ground waters. A combined theoretical and experimental approach was taken to determine the ability to theoretically predict mineralogic changes. The cementitious material selected for study has a relatively low Ca:Si ratio approaching that of the mineral tobermorite. Samples were treated hydrothermally at 200°C with water similar to that obtained from the J-13 well on the Nevada Test Site. Post-test solutions were analyzed for pH as well as dissolved K, Na, Ca, Al, and Si. Solid phases formed during these experiments were characterized by scanning electron microscopy and X-ray diffraction. These findings were compared with predictions made by the geochemical modeling code EQ3NR/EQ6. It was generally found that there was good agreement between predicted and experimental results.

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1. Wolery, T.J., EQ3NR, A computer program for geochemical agueous speciation-stability calculations: User's guide and documentation, (UCRL-53414, 1983), 191 pp.
2. Gardiner, M.A., Hinkebein, T.E., and Myers, J., in The Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management XIV, (Mater. Res. Soc. Proc. 212, Boston, MA, 1990), pp. 411416.
3. Scheetz, B.E., and Roy, D.M., Preliminary survey of the stability of silica-rich cementitious mortars 82–22 and 84–12 with tuff, (LA-11222-MS, 1989), 51 pp.
4. Seyfried, W.E., Janecky, D.R., and Berndt, M.E., 1987, Hydrothermal Experimental Techniques, edited by Ulmer, G.C., and and Barns, H.L., (Wiley-Interscience, 1987), pp. 216239.

The Hydrothermal Stability of Cement Sealing Materials in the Potential Yucca Mountain High Level Nuclear Waste Repository

  • J. L. Krumhansl (a1), T. E. Hinkebein (a1) and J. Myers (a2)

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