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Title: Ensuring Longevity: Ancient Glasses Help Predict Durability of Vitrified Nuclear Waste

How does glass alter with time? For the last hundred years this has been an important question to the fields of object conservation and archeology to ensure the preservation of glass artifacts. This same question is part of the development and assessment of durable glass waste forms for the immobilization of nuclear wastes. Researchers have developed experiments ranging from simple to highly sophisticated to answer this question, and, as a result, have gained significant insight into the mechanisms that drive glass alteration. However, the gathered data have been predominately applicable to only short-term alteration times, i.e. over the course of decades. What has remained elusive is the long-term mechanisms of glass alteration[1]. These mechanisms are of particular interest to the international nuclear waste glass community as they strive to ensure that vitrified products will be durable for thousands to tens of thousands of years. For the last thirty years this community has been working to fill this research gap by partnering with archeologists, museum curators, and geologists to identify hundred to million-year old glass analogues that have altered in environments representative of those expected at potential nuclear waste disposal sites. The process of identifying a waste glass relevant analogue ismore » challenging as it requires scientists to relate data collected from short-term laboratory experiments to observations made from long-term analogues and extensive geochemical modeling.« less
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: American Ceramics Society Bulletin, 95(4):18-23
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Waste glass; Ancient Glass; Vitrified Waste; nuclear waste