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Two different methods have been used to synthesize sodalite for conditioning of chloride salt wastes coming from pyroprocesses: the first one, starting from kaolinite through the intermediate nepheline phase; the second one, starting from silica and sodium aluminate reagents, directly. The obtained products have been characterized by means of several analyses. In particular, different instrumental techniques – stereomicroscopy, scanning electron microscopy (SEMEDS), density measurements, thermogravimetric analysis, X-rays diffraction, FTIR spectroscopy – were performed revealing that the synthesis from kaolinite is the best method, provided that rigorous conditions are followed. The use of an argon atmosphere for the preparation of pellets of reagents is strictly necessary for the obtainment of a good quality product.
New glassy matrices, able to incorporate new highly concentrated radioactive liquid wastes (HLW), are being studied. Investigations were performed on rare earth-rich glasses, known as very durable matrices. The selected basic glass composition was (wt. %): 51.0 SiO2 – 8.5 B2O3–12.2 Na2O – 4.3 Al2O3 – 4.8 CaO – 3.2 ZrO2 – 16.0 Nd2O3. To determine both the environment around the rare earth in this glass and its evolution according to its concentration (1.3 – 30 wt. % Nd2O3), EXAFS (Extended X-Ray Absorption Fine Structure) spectroscopy at the LIII-edge of neodymium and optical absorption spectroscopy were used. By coupling these two characterisation methods, several hypotheses are proposed about the nature of the rare earth neighbouring in the glass.
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