nerc.ac.uk

Minimal alteration of montmorillonite following long-term interaction with natural alkaline groundwater: Implications for geological disposal of radioactive waste

Milodowski, Antoni E.; Norris, Simon; Alexander, W.Russell. 2016 Minimal alteration of montmorillonite following long-term interaction with natural alkaline groundwater: Implications for geological disposal of radioactive waste. Applied Geochemistry, 66. 184-197. 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2015.12.016

Full text not available from this repository. (Request a copy)

Abstract/Summary

Bentonite is one of the more safety-critical components of the engineered barrier system in the disposal concepts developed for many types of radioactive waste. Bentonite is utilised because of its favourable properties which include plasticity, swelling capacity, colloid filtration, low hydraulic conductivity, high retardation of key radionuclides and stability in geological environments of relevance to waste disposal. However, bentonite is unstable under the highly alkaline conditions induced by Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC: initial porewater pH > 13) and this has driven interest in using low alkali cements (initial porewater pH9-11) as an alternative to OPC. To build a robust safety case for a repository for radioactive wastes, it is important to have supporting natural analogue data to confirm understanding of the likely long-term performance of bentonite in these lower alkali conditions. In Cyprus, the presence of natural bentonite in association with natural alkaline groundwater permits the zones of potential bentonite/alkaline water reaction to be studied as an analogy of the potential reaction between low alkali cement leachates and the bentonite buffer in the repository. Here, the results indicate that a cation diffusion front has moved some metres into the bentonite whereas the bentonite reaction front is restricted to a few millimetres into the clay. This reaction front shows minimal reaction of the bentonite (volumetrically, less than 1% of the bentonite), with production of a palygorskite secondary phase following reaction of the primary smectites over time periods of 105–106 years.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.apgeochem.2015.12.016
ISSN: 08832927
Date made live: 21 Jan 2016 12:10 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/512678

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...