Alkali-borosilicate glasses are widely used in nuclear industry as a matrix for immobilisation of hazardous radioactive wastes. Durability or corrosion resistance of these glasses is one of key parameters in waste storage and disposal safety. It is influenced by many factors such as composition of glass and surrounding media, temperature, time and so on. As these glasses contain radioactive elements most of their properties including corrosion resistance are also impacted by self-irradiation.
The effect of external gamma-irradiation on the short-term (up to 27 days) dissolution of waste borosilicate glasses at moderate temperatures (30¢X to 60¢XC) was studied. The glasses studied were Magnox Waste glass used for immobilisation of HLW in UK, and K-26 glass used in Russia for ILW immobilisation. Glass samples were irradiated under ×-source (Co-60) up to doses 1 and 11 MGy. Normalised rates of elemental release and activation energy of release were measured for Na, Li, Ca, Mg, B, Si and Mo before and after irradiation. Irradiation up to 1 MGy results in increase of leaching rate of almost all elements from both MW and K-26 with the exception of Na release from MW glass. Further irradiation up to a dose of 11 MGy leads to the decrease of elemental release rates to nearly initial value. Another effect of irradiation is increase of activation energies of elemental release.