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The fate of Si and Fe while nuclear glass alters with steel and clay

Abstract : The French concept developed to dispose high-level radioactive waste in geological repository relies on glassy waste forms, isolated from the claystone host rock by steel containers. Understanding interactions between glass and surrounding materials is key for assessing the performance of a such system. Here, isotopically tagged SON68 glass, steel and claystone were studied through an integrated mockup conducted at 50°C for 2.5 years. Post-mortem analyses were performed from nanometric to millimetric scales using TEM, STXM, ToF-SIMS and SEM techniques. The glass alteration layer consisted of a crystallized Fe-rich smectite mineral, close to nontronite, supporting a dissolution/reprecipitation controlling mechanism for glass alteration. The mean glass dissolution rate ranged between 1.6 × 10$_{−2}$ g m$_{−2}$ d$_{−1}$ to 3.0 × 10$_{−2}$ g m$_{−2}$ d$_{−1}$ , a value only 3-5 times lower than the initial dissolution rate. Thermodynamic calculations highlighted a competition between nontronite and protective gel, explaining why in the present conditions the formation of a protective layer is prevented.
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Contributor : Serge Palacin <>
Submitted on : Friday, April 9, 2021 - 8:34:48 AM
Last modification on : Friday, June 18, 2021 - 10:07:51 AM

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C. Carriere, P. Dillmann, S. Gin, D. Neff, L. Gentaz, et al.. The fate of Si and Fe while nuclear glass alters with steel and clay. npj Materials Degradation, Nature Research 2021, 5 (1), pp.16. ⟨10.1038/s41529-021-00160-x⟩. ⟨cea-03193704⟩

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