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Cement-based waste forms are one of the most widely used waste disposal options, yet definitive knowledge of the fate of the waste species inside the waste form is lacking. A fundamental understanding of the chemistry and microstructure of the waste forms would lead to a better understanding of the mass transfer of the waste species, more confidence in predicting and extrapolating waste-form performance, and improved design of waste forms. Better and cheaper leach tests would lead to quicker and more cost-effective screening of waste-form alternatives, cement-based and otherwise. In addition, assessment of durability may be important to predicting waste-form performance in the field over periods of decades and centuries.
The leachabilities of technetium and nitrate wastes immobilized in cement-based materials (i.e., grouts) have been investigated using ANS 16.1 test procedures. Factors found to affect the leachabilities include (1) grout mix ratio, (2) grout fluid density, (3) dry solid blend composition (including ground blast furnace slag), and (4) waste concentration.
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