Evaluation of the Long-Term Performance of Titanate Ceramics for Immobilization of Excess Weapons Plutonium: Results from Pressurized Unsaturated Flow and Single Pass Flow-Through Testing

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This report summarizes our findings from pressurized unsaturated flow (PUF) and single-pass flow-through (SPFT) experiments to date. Results from the PUF test of a Pu-bearing ceramic with enclosing surrogate high-level waste glass show that the glass reacts rapidly to alteration products. Glass reaction causes variations in the solution pH in contact with the ceramic materials. We also document variable concentrations of Pu in solution, primarily in colloidal form, which appear to be related to secular variations in solution composition. The apparent dissolution rate of the ceramic waste form, based on Ba concentrations in the effluent, is estimated at {le} 10{sup ... continued below

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46 p.

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McGrail, B. P.; Schaef, H. T.; Icenhower, J. P.; Martin, P. F.; Orr, R. D. & Legore, V. L. September 13, 1999.

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Description

This report summarizes our findings from pressurized unsaturated flow (PUF) and single-pass flow-through (SPFT) experiments to date. Results from the PUF test of a Pu-bearing ceramic with enclosing surrogate high-level waste glass show that the glass reacts rapidly to alteration products. Glass reaction causes variations in the solution pH in contact with the ceramic materials. We also document variable concentrations of Pu in solution, primarily in colloidal form, which appear to be related to secular variations in solution composition. The apparent dissolution rate of the ceramic waste form, based on Ba concentrations in the effluent, is estimated at {le} 10{sup {minus}5} g/(m{sup 2} {center_dot} d). Pu-bearing colloids were recovered in the size range of 0.2 to 2 {micro}m, but it is not clear that such entities would be transported in a system that is not advective-flow dominated. Results from SPFT experiments give information on the corrosion resistance of two surrogate Pu-ceramics (Ce-pyrochlore and Ce-zirconolite) at 90 C over a pH range of 2 to 12. The two ceramics were doped with minor quantities ({approximately}0.1 mass%) of MoO{sub 3}, so that concentrations of Mo in the effluent solution could be used to monitor the reaction behavior of the materials. The data obtained thus far from experiments with durations up to 150 d do not conclusively prove that the solid-aqueous solution systems have reached steady-state conditions. Therefore, the dissolution mechanism cannot be determined. Apparent dissolution rates of the two ceramic materials based on Ce, Gd, and Mo concentrations in the effluent solutions from the SPFT are nearly identical and vary between 1.1 to 8.5 x 10{sup {minus}4} g/(m{sup 2} {center_dot} d). In addition, the data reveal a slightly amphoteric dissolution behavior, with a minimum apparent rate at pH = 7 to 8, over the pH range examined. Results from two related ceramic samples suggest that radiation damage can have a measurable effect on the dissolution of titanium-based ceramics. The rare earth pyrochlores, Gd{sub 2}Ti{sub 2}O{sub 7} and Lu{sub 2}Ti{sub 2}O{sub 7}, are being studied as part of the DOE Environmental Management Science Program, and the results are germane to this study. The corrosion resistances of both heavy-ion bombarded and pristine (non-bombarded) specimens are being examined with the SPFT test. Initial data indicate that the dissolution rate may increase by a factor of 3 times or more when these materials become amorphous from radiation damage.

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46 p.

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INIS; OSTI as DE00010594

Medium: P; Size: 46 pages

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  • Other Information: PBD: 13 Sep 1999

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  • Report No.: PNNL-12240
  • Grant Number: AC06-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/10594 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 10594
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc627871

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  • September 13, 1999

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  • June 16, 2015, 7:43 a.m.

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  • April 12, 2017, 6:49 p.m.

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McGrail, B. P.; Schaef, H. T.; Icenhower, J. P.; Martin, P. F.; Orr, R. D. & Legore, V. L. Evaluation of the Long-Term Performance of Titanate Ceramics for Immobilization of Excess Weapons Plutonium: Results from Pressurized Unsaturated Flow and Single Pass Flow-Through Testing, report, September 13, 1999; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc627871/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.