Since 1982, the corrosion behaviour of radioactive high level waste glass and of inactive glasses of the same composition has been studied in the framework of a Japanese-Swedish-Swiss (JSS) project. In addition to granite and backfilling material, the influence of steel corrosion products on glass corrosion has been investigated in experiments of up to one year at 90°C with a sample surface area to leachant volume ratio of 10 m−1. Leachant and steel corrosion products were separated from each other by filtration and analyzed by atomic absorption spectroscopy and γ-spectroscopy. The glass corrosion layers were characterized by optical and scanning electron microscopy and by secondary ion mass spectrometry.
It could be shown, that glass corrosion is enhanced by steel corrosion products. The quantity of corroded glass seems to be dependent on the surface area and not on the total amount of steel corrosion products in the system, suggesting a mechanism controlled by silica sorption on the steel corrosion product. If lead oxide is added to the system, glass corrosion is almost to- tally suppressed.