Determination of transmutation effects in crystalline waste forms. 1997 annual progress report

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'A team from two national laboratories is studying transmutation effects in crystalline waste forms. Analyses are being done with 18 year old samples of {sup 137}Cs-bearing pollucite (CsAlSi{sub 2}O{sub 6} \267 0.5 H{sub 2}O) obtained from a French company. These samples are unique in that the pollucite was made with various amounts of {sup 137}Cs, which was then sealed in welded stainless- steel capsules to be used as tumor irradiation sources. Over the past 18 years, the {sup 137}Cs has been decaying to stable Ba in the capsules, i.e., in the absence of atmospheric effects. This material serves as an ... continued below

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13 pages

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Strachan, D.M.; Buck, E.C.; Fortner, J.A. & Hess, N.J. January 1, 1997.

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'A team from two national laboratories is studying transmutation effects in crystalline waste forms. Analyses are being done with 18 year old samples of {sup 137}Cs-bearing pollucite (CsAlSi{sub 2}O{sub 6} \267 0.5 H{sub 2}O) obtained from a French company. These samples are unique in that the pollucite was made with various amounts of {sup 137}Cs, which was then sealed in welded stainless- steel capsules to be used as tumor irradiation sources. Over the past 18 years, the {sup 137}Cs has been decaying to stable Ba in the capsules, i.e., in the absence of atmospheric effects. This material serves as an analogue to a crystalline waste form in which such a transmutation occurs to possibly disrupt the integrity of the original waste form. Work this year consisted of determining the construction of the capsule and state of the pollucite in the absence of details about these components from the French company. The authors have opened one capsule containing nonradioactive pollucite. The information on the construction of the stainless-steel capsule is useful for the work that the authors are preparing to do on capsules containing radioactive pollucite. Microscopic characterization of the nonradioactive pollucite revealed that there are at least two compounds in addition to pollucite: a Cs-silicate and a Cs-aluminosilicate (CsAlSiO{sub 4}). These findings may complicate the interpretation of the planned experiments using X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Electron energy loss spectroscopy and energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (flourescence) have been used to characterize the nonradioactive pollucite. They have investigated the stability of the nonradioactive pollucite to {beta} radiation damage by use of 200 keV electrons in a transmission electron microscope. The samples were found to become amorphous in less than 10 minutes with loss of Cs. This is equivalent to many more years of {beta} radiation damage than under normal decay of the {sup 137}Cs. In fact, the dose was equivalent to several thousand years of normal radiation damage from the decay of {sup 137}Cs. Of course, there would not be any {sup 137}Cs remaining after that length of time because the half-life of {sup 137}Cs is 30 y. Preparations have been started to study the radioactive pollucite samples at the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory. The calculations show that by thinning the base of the capsules the authors should be able to obtain about a factor of ten increase in the fluorescence signal. Procedures for thinning capsules containing the radioactive pollucite and examining the samples at the Stanford synchrotron are in place.'

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13 pages

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  • Other: DE00013677
  • Report No.: EMSP-55382--97
  • Grant Number: NONE
  • DOI: 10.2172/13677 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 13677
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc619794

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  • January 1, 1997

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • June 13, 2016, 4:26 p.m.

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Strachan, D.M.; Buck, E.C.; Fortner, J.A. & Hess, N.J. Determination of transmutation effects in crystalline waste forms. 1997 annual progress report, report, January 1, 1997; Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc619794/: accessed May 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.