Latex-modified Portland cement, which would be expected to have low permeability and ion diffusivity, was studied for possible application as a solidification agent for radioactive wastes generated from nuclear power plants. In order to predict the leaching ratio of radionuclides from the cementitious waste forms, the effect of water and latex content in the fresh cement paste on total porosity and ion diffusivity of hardened paste was quantitatively estimated.
Total porosity of hardened cement paste decreased with the reduction of water content in the fresh paste and it was also reduced by latex addition. This latter effect could be attributed to the latex emulsion forming a water-proof film and filling the capillary pores. Also Cs ions diffusivity, which is the ratio of the diffusion coefficient in pore water to that in bulk water, showed an exponential correlation with total porosity for both cement materials. An empirical equation, expressing ion diffusivity as a function of total porosity, was derived from the consideration that the water constrictivity in this porous medium could cause an increase of the apparent viscosity of pore water. These results suggested a possibility that the transport behavior of radionuclides through the cementitious matrix could be estimated from the mixing parameters of the original cement pastes.