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Dismantling nuclear waste rich in P2O5, MoO3 and ZrO2: How do these oxides incorporate in aluminoborosilicate glasses?

Abstract : Dismantling nuclear facilities leads to radioactive waste less active but which may have highly variable compositions compared to the high-level radioactive wastes recovered after the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. In this work, we studied the ability of an alkali-rich glass matrix belonging to the SiO2-B2O3-Al2O3-Fe2O3-Na2O-Li2O-CaO system to solubilize P2O5, MoO3, ZrO2 and Cs2O by melting at 1100°C. Phosphorus, molybdenum, zirconium and cesium are present as a mixture of complex compounds in the real radioactive dismantling waste containing 137Cs considered here. To determine the capacity of the matrix to accept a wide range of variations of waste composition and the solubility limits of P2O5, MoO3, and ZrO2, several glass series were prepared by melting mixtures of raw materials (oxides, carbonates, phosphates) and by increasing the total amount of oxides representing the waste and varying their relative proportions. Their incorporation in the melt was studied by analyzing the microstructure of quenched glasses by XRD and SEM-EDS. In addition, the phase separation and crystallization tendencies during cooling were studied by analyzing the microstructure of glasses cooled at 1°C.min-1 from 1100°C (representative of cooling in industrials steel canisters). It is shown that the glass can accept a wide range of waste compositions without exhibiting heterogeneities. For all compositions the melt remained homogeneous (study of quenched samples). However, during slow cooling, P2O5 and MoO3 may lead to phase separation and crystallization of Na2MoO4, CsLiMoO4, NaCaPO4, NaLi2PO4, and Li3PO4. Cs can be partially incorporated into the molybdenum-rich phase CsLiMoO4 when MoO3 content is higher than 1.3wt%. ZrO2 never lead to phase separation or crystallization, possibly because of the existence of strong connections between Zr and Si through Zr-O-Si bonds whereas P and Mo would be present as PO43− and MoO42− mobile entities. The increasing order of oxides solubility in the glass is the following: MoO3
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Submitted on : Monday, December 14, 2020 - 4:32:25 PM
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Sophie Achigar, Daniel Caurant, Elise Regnier, Odile Majerus. Dismantling nuclear waste rich in P2O5, MoO3 and ZrO2: How do these oxides incorporate in aluminoborosilicate glasses?. Journal of Nuclear Materials, Elsevier, 2020, pp.10.1016/j.jnucmat.2020.152731. ⟨10.1016/j.jnucmat.2020.152731⟩. ⟨cea-03065018⟩



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