Physicochemical Studies of Basalt Materials and Ceramic Chromite-Niobate Composites for the Purpose of the Immobilization of Ecologically Hazardous Actinides and the Making of Protective Barriers for a Long-term Safe Storage of Radwastes.
Tech Area / Field
- ENV-RWT/Radioactive Waste Treatment/Environment
8 Project completed
Senior Project Manager
Karabashev S G
Institute of Physical Chemistry, Russia, Moscow
- NPO Mayak, Russia, Chelyabinsk reg., Oziorsk\nAll-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Non-Organic Materials named after A. Bochvar, Russia, Moscow
- Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), USA, IL, Argonne\nSandia National Laboratories, USA, NM, Albuquerque
Project summaryThe aim of the project is:
Physicochemical study of basalt materials or stone cast materials, and ceramic chromite-nlobate composites for the purpose of the immobilization of actinides formed during the treatment of nuclear fuel, including weapon plutonium. These materials possessing high chemical, thermal, and radiation stabilities can be used for the production of containers for high-level wastes and weapon plutonium in the appropriate form.
Object of Studies:
liquid a-radwastes formed during the treatment of nuclear fuel and nuclear weapon materials.
Possible Technological Application:
Basalt materials and stone-cast materials exhibit high chemical, thermal, and radiation stabilities and they can be used for the production of storage containers for high-level wastes, using a simple technology. In addition, the using of appropriate fluxes will decrease their melting temperatures and these materials can be used to advantage for the immobilization of a- radwastes.
Ceramic chromlte-niobate composites possess unique chemical, thermal, and radiation stabilities, because they form insoluble radiation- and heat-stable compounds with high-level waste components (particularly, with uranium and transuraniums). These composites are a perspective material for protective containers.
Based on the results of the physlcochemical studies which will be carried out taking into account all technological difficulties of the immobilization of a-radwastes in solids,we plan to develop and to propose a technological scheme of the immobilization of a- radwastes in ecologically safe forms. The inclusion of the wastes in basalt and basalt-like matrices will give us ecologically safe with a leaching rate of 10-6 to 10-7/cm2 . day and ceramic materials on the basis of chromlte-niobate composites with a leaching rate of 10-7 to 10-8 g/cm2 . day.
In addition, a technology of the production of stone cast containers for the solidified high-level wastes will be developed. These containers will create an additional powerful ecological shield and will ensure the ecological safety of a long-term storage of radwastes.
Production of the Materials possessing high chemical, thermal, and radiation stabilities using simple and relatively low-temperature technologies. The proposed technologies are simple as compared to the well-known technologies of the production of synrocks.
This project can be of both scientific and commercial interest. For Instance, the use of ceramic chromite-niobate materials has not been yet discussed in the literature, and a relatively simple technology of synthesis of these materials can be of commercial interest. The same is true of the stone cast containers for the storage of high-level radwastes in the appropriate form.
Almost eternal containers made of stone cast (basalt-type materials) will be created a powerful additional barrier ensuring the ecological safety of the radwaste disposal.
In the case of a successful earring out of this project, the technology of the immobilization of high-level wastes can be used by the ISTC participant countries and sold to other countries developing nuclear energy.