Ancient Glass: A Literature Search and its Role in Waste Management

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When developing a performance assessment model for the long-term disposal of immobilized low-activity waste (ILAW) glass, it is desirable to determine the durability of glass forms over very long periods of time. However, testing is limited to short time spans, so experiments are performed under conditions that accelerate the key geochemical processes that control weathering. Verification that models currently being used can reliably calculate the long term behavior ILAW glass is a key component of the overall PA strategy. Therefore, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory was contracted by Washington River Protection Solutions, LLC to evaluate alternative strategies that can be used ... continued below

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Strachan, Denis M. & Pierce, Eric M. July 1, 2010.

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When developing a performance assessment model for the long-term disposal of immobilized low-activity waste (ILAW) glass, it is desirable to determine the durability of glass forms over very long periods of time. However, testing is limited to short time spans, so experiments are performed under conditions that accelerate the key geochemical processes that control weathering. Verification that models currently being used can reliably calculate the long term behavior ILAW glass is a key component of the overall PA strategy. Therefore, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory was contracted by Washington River Protection Solutions, LLC to evaluate alternative strategies that can be used for PA source term model validation. One viable alternative strategy is the use of independent experimental data from archaeological studies of ancient or natural glass contained in the literature. These results represent a potential independent experiment that date back to approximately 3600 years ago or 1600 before the current era (bce) in the case of ancient glass and 106 years or older in the case of natural glass. The results of this literature review suggest that additional experimental data may be needed before the result from archaeological studies can be used as a tool for model validation of glass weathering and more specifically disposal facility performance. This is largely because none of the existing data set contains all of the information required to conduct PA source term calculations. For example, in many cases the sediments surrounding the glass was not collected and analyzed; therefore having the data required to compare computer simulations of concentration flux is not possible. This type of information is important to understanding the element release profile from the glass to the surrounding environment and provides a metric that can be used to calibrate source term models. Although useful, the available literature sources do not contain the required information needed to simulate the long-term performance of nuclear waste glasses in a near-surface or deep geologic repositories. The information that will be required include 1) experimental measurements to quantify the model parameters, 2) detailed analyses of altered glass samples, and 3) detailed analyses of the sediment surrounding the ancient glass samples.

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  • Report No.: PNNL-19752
  • Grant Number: AC05-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/1009767 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1009767
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc847202

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  • July 1, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 3:16 p.m.

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  • Nov. 22, 2016, 6:30 p.m.

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Strachan, Denis M. & Pierce, Eric M. Ancient Glass: A Literature Search and its Role in Waste Management, report, July 1, 2010; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc847202/: accessed August 14, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.