Mechanisms of radionuclide retention in aged cements

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Earth Atmospheric and Env Sciences

Abstract

Radionuclide sorption on potential backfill materials is a topic of continued research and development in geological disposal of intermediate level waste. Prior work has employed hydrothermal ageing to accelerate the chemical evolution of Nirex Reference Vault Backfill (NRVB) and understand the consequent changes in cement mineralogy. To date, limited research into radionuclide interactions with aged cements has been undertaken. Here we propose a focussed mechanistic study on aged cement phases and radionuclides of importance to the safety case for a Geological Disposal Facility. In Task 1 we will focus on understanding the composition of cementitious materials and their aged forms to validate them as representative of aged NRVB. In Task 2 will then examine bulk and molecular scale interactions of select radionuclides on their reaction with these phases. In Task 3 will consider the impact of further ageing on radionuclide speciation and fate.

Our experimental research programme will exploit the new NNUF Facilities due to open in 2021 including the NNUF RADER Labs hosted within the Research Centre for Radwaste Disposa at the University of Manchester as well as the new Diamond Light Source Active Materials Laboratory and will utilise state-of-the-art STFC facilities which allow for a mechanistic understanding at multiple scales.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/S022295/1 31/03/2019 29/09/2027
2602841 Studentship EP/S022295/1 30/09/2021 29/09/2025 Charlotte Marie Istance