The sorption behaviour of I−, Cs+, Ni2+, Eu3+, Th4+ and UO2+
2on NRVB (Nirex reference vault backfill) a possible vault backfill, at pH 12.8 was studied. Sorption isotherms generated were compared to results obtained in the presence of cellulose degradation products (CDP). Whereas Cs was not affected by the presence of the organic compounds, a notable reduction in the sorption of Th and Eu to cement was observed. The results also indicated limited removal of Ni from solution (with or without an organic ligand) by sorption, the concentration in solution seemingly being determined solely by solubility processes. In the case of uranium, the presence of CDP increased the sorption to cement by almost one order of magnitude. Further studies into the uptake of CDP by cement are being undertaken to identify the mechanism(s) responsible.