A new solidification technique using cement-glass, which is a mixture of sodium silicate, cement, additives, and initiator of the solidification reaction, was developed for sodium borate liquid waste generated from pressurized water reactor (PWR) plants. The cement-glass could solidify eight times as much sodium borate as cement could, because the solidifying reaction of the cement-glass is not hindered by borate ions.
The reaction mechanism of sodium silicate and phosphoric silicate (initiator), the main components of cement-glass, was studied through X-ray diffraction and compressive strength measurements. It was found that three- dimensionally bonded silicon dioxide was produced by polymerization of the two silicates. The leaching ratio of cesium from the cement-glass package was one-tenth that of the cement one. This low value was attributed to a high cesium adsorption ability of the cement-glass and it could be theoretically predicted accordingly.