Development of an iodine immobilization technique that can fix radioactive iodine in waste form for a long period and constrain its leaching into pore water is necessary in order to secure the long-term safety of geological disposal of transuranic (TRU) waste.
Lead borate glass vitrified at a low temperature is regarded as one of the promising immobilization materials of Iodine-129 which will be removed from spent AgI filters generated from reprocessing plants and may have a significant effect on long term safety of geological disposal.
Leaching experiments in bentonite-equilibrium water have been conducted to understand the lead borate glass dissolution behaviors in possible geological disposal conditions. Boron dissolved with the highest rate in all types of the solutions and was regarded as an index element to represent the glass dissolution rate. On the other hand, lead dissolved with a far slower rate. The chemical species and possible precipitating minerals of lead were examined by a geochemical calculation code for typical underground water. Altered glass surfaces were investigated by SEM, TEM and XRD. XRD analysis showed that the main constituent phase of the altered layer was hydrocerussite, Pb3(CO3)2(OH)2, that was predicted by the geochemical simulation as well.