Description: In an extension of our work on the radiolytic processes that occur in the waste tanks at the Hanford site, we studied the gas generation from grout samples that contained nuclear waste simulants. Grout is one option for the long-term storage of low-level nuclear waste solutions but the radiolytic effects on grout have not been thoroughly defined. In particular, the generation of potentially flammable and hazardous gases required quantification. A research team at Argonne examined this issue and found that the total amount of gases generated radiolytically from the WHC samples was an order of magnitude higher than predicted. This implies that novel pathways fro charge migration from the solid grout to the associated water are responsible for gas evolution. The grout samples produced hydrogen, nitrous oxide, and carbon monoxide as well as nitrogen and oxygen. Yields of each of these substances were determined for doses that are equivalent to about 80 years storage of the grout. Carbon monoxide, which was produced in 2% yield, is of particular importance because even small amounts may adversely affect catalytic conversion instrumentation that has been planned for installation in the storage vaults.
Date: March 1, 1996
Creator: Jonah, C.D.; Kapoor, S.; Matheson, M.S.; Mulac, W.A. & Meisel, D.
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Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department