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Behaviour of magnesium phosphate cement-based materials under gamma and alpha irradiation

Abstract : Stabilization and solidification of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste using Portland cement, possibly blended with fly ash or blastfurnace slag, is a well-established practice. However, when the waste contains high amounts of alpha emitters, this solution can be restricted by the strong release of radiolytic gases, wherein H2 is the most abundant. This work investigates the interest of using magnesium potassium phosphate cement (MPC), a binder with a high chemical water demand, as a possible substitute to Portland cement (PC). The radiolytic gas production of PC and MPC pastes and mortars is determined under external gamma and internal alpha irradiation. The H2 radiolytic yield of MPC materials is found to be 2 to 3 times smaller than that of PC references, provided that the main part of the mixing water is consumed by K-struvite formation. Moreover, gamma irradiation of a MPC mortar up to an integrated dose of 10 MGy has no significant influence on its mechanical strength (flexural, compressive) nor on its mineralogy. MPC materials are thus potential candidates for the conditioning of high amounts of radioactivity with limited H2 release. The H2 production of MPC materials can be reduced further by adding radical scavengers or H2 getters within the matrix. However, other radiolytic gases such as O2 are often produced, making these solutions less attractive considering the concern of pressure build-up within the cemented waste package
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Submitted on : Monday, December 14, 2020 - 4:30:06 PM
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David Chartier, Jennifer Sanchez-Canet, Pascal Antonucci, Stéphane Esnouf, Jean-Philippe Renault, et al.. Behaviour of magnesium phosphate cement-based materials under gamma and alpha irradiation. Journal of Nuclear Materials, Elsevier, 2020, 541, pp.152411. ⟨10.1016/j.jnucmat.2020.152411⟩. ⟨cea-03065008⟩



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