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Title: Long-term diffusion of U(VI) in bentonite: Dependence on density

As a contribution to the safety assessment of nuclear waste repositories, U(VI) diffusion through the potential buffer material MX-80 bentonite was investigated at three clay dry densities over six years. Synthetic MX-80 model pore water was used as background electrolyte. Speciation calculations showed that Ca 2UO 2(CO 3) 3(aq) was the main U(VI) species. The in- and out-diffusion of U(VI) was investigated separately. U(VI) diffused about 3 mm, 1.5 mm, and 1 mm into the clay plug at ρ = 1.3, 1.6, and 1.9 g/cm 3, respectively. No through-diffusion of the U(VI) tracer was observed. However, leaching of natural uranium contained in the clay occurred and uranium was detected in all receiving reservoirs. As expected, the effective and apparent diffusion coefficients, D e and D a, decreased with increasing dry density. The D a values for the out-diffusion of natural U(VI) were in good agreement with previously determined values. Surprisingly, D a values for the in-diffusion of U(VI) were about two orders of magnitude lower than values obtained in short-term in-diffusion experiments reported in the literature. Some potential reasons for this behavior that were evaluated are changes of the U(VI) speciation within the clay (precipitation, reduction) or changes of themore » clay porosity and pore connectivity with time. By applying Archie's law and the extended Archie's law, it was estimated that a significantly smaller effective porosity must be present for the long-term in-diffusion of U(VI). Finally, the results suggest that long-term studies of key transport phenomena may reveal additional processes that can directly impact long-term repository safety assessments.« less
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3] ;  [4] ;  [4] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
  2. Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e.V., Dresden (Germany); Nagra, Wettingen (Switzerland)
  3. Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e.V., Dresden (Germany); LSI Sachsen GmbH & Co., Dresden (Germany)
  4. Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf e.V., Dresden (Germany)
Publication Date:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0048-9697
Grant/Contract Number:
AC52-07NA27344; AF5865010; SCW1053
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Science of the Total Environment
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 575; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0048-9697
Research Org:
Lawrence Livermore National Lab. (LLNL), Livermore, CA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Biological and Environmental Research (BER) (SC-23)
Country of Publication:
United States
38 RADIATION CHEMISTRY, RADIOCHEMISTRY, AND NUCLEAR CHEMISTRY; nuclear waste repository; MX-80; clay; uranium; speciation; extended Archie's law
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1399042