Description: This topical report describes the results of an investigation on the solidification of low-level radioactive waste in polyethylene. Waste streams selected for this study included those which result from advanced volume reduction technologies (dry evaporator concentrate salts and incinerator ash) and those which remain problematic for solidification using contemporary agents (ion exchange resins). Four types of commercially available low-density polyethylenes were employed which encompass a range of processing and property characteristics. Process development studies were conducted to ascertain optimal process control parameters for successful solidification. Maximum waste loadings were determined for each waste and polyethylene type. Property evaluation testing was performed on laboratory-scale specimens to assess the potential behavior of actual waste forms in a disposal environment. Waste form property tests included water immersion, deformation under compressive load, thermal cycling and radionuclide leaching. Recommended waste loadings of 70 wt % sodium sulfate, 50 wt % boric acid, 40 wt % incinerator ash, and 30 wt % ion exchange resins, which are based on process control and waste form performance considerations are reported. 37 refs., 33 figs., 22 tabs.
Date: February 1, 1985
Creator: Kalb, P.D. & Colombo, P.
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