Effects of alpha, gamma, and alpha-recoil radiation on borosilicate glass containing Savannah River Plant defense high-level nuclear waste. [Lead ions-250 keV; xenon ions-160 keV]
Description: At the Savannah River Plant, the reference process for the immobilization of defense high-level waste (DHLW) for geologic storage is vitrification into borosilicate glass. During geologic storage for 10/sup 6/ y, the glass would be exposed to approx. 3 x 10/sup 10/ rad of ..beta.. radiation, approx. 10/sup 10/ rad of ..gamma.. radiation, and 10/sup 18/ particles/g glass for both ..cap alpha.. and ..cap alpha..-recoil radiation. This paper discusses tests of the effect of these radiations on the leachability and density of the glass. Even though the doses were large, no effect of the radiations was detected that reduced the effectiveness of the glass for long-term storage of DHLW even at doses corresponding to 10/sup 6/ years storage for the actual glass. For the tests, glass containing simulated DHLW was prepared from frit of the reference composition. Three methods were used to irradiate the glass: external irradiations with beams of approx. 200 keV Xe or Pb ions, internal irradiations with Cm-244 doped glass, and external irradiations with Co-60 ..gamma.. rays. Results with both Xe and Pb ions indicate that a dose of 3 x 10/sup 13/ ions/cm/sup 2/ (simulating > 10/sup 6/ years storage) does not significantly increase the leachability of the glass in deionized water. Tests with Cm-244 doped glass show no increase in leach rate in water or brine up to a dose of 10/sup 18/ ..cap alpha.. and ..cap alpha..-recoils/g glass. Results of larger doses are being examined. The density of the Cm-244 doped glass has decreased by 1% at a dose of 10/sup 18/ particles/g glass. With ..gamma..-radiation, the density has changed by < 0.05% at a dose of 8.5 x 10/sup 10/ rad. Results of leach tests in deionized water and brine indicated that this very large dose of ..gamma..-radiation increased the leach rate by ...
Date: January 1, 1981
Creator: Bibler, N.E.
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