This work gives a detailed description of the important aspects of a
long-term Low-Level Radioactive Waste (LLRW) degradation experiment,
performed at Chalk River Laboratories (CRL). This experiment utilized actual
LLRW. The wastes consist of unconditioned compacted refuse (paper, mop
heads, paper towels, used clothing, etc), which represents the bulk of the
waste volume intended for near-surface disposal at CRL. Waste material was
collected and compacted to make a total of 11 bales for this experiment.
Each bale was then placed and sealed in separate steel containers which were
connected to sampling lines. After a dry monitoring period, water was added
to promote leaching and decomposition of the wastes. The leachate sampled
had a composition similar to landfill leachates. Some applications of this
experiment, used to support the safety case of near-surface disposal, are
briefly discussed in this paper, e.g., the production of colloidal material,
the nature and role of dissolved organics of microbial origin, etc.