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Title: Hydraulic Conductivity of Geosynthetic Clay Liners to Low-Level Radioactive Waste Leachate

Hydraulic conductivity was evaluated for eight commercially available geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs) permeated with leachate characteristic of low-level radioactive waste (LLW) disposal facilities operated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Two of the GCLs (CS and GS) contained conventional sodium bentonite (Na-B). The others contained a bentonite–polymer mixture (CPL, CPH, GPL1, GPL2, and GPH) or bentonite–polymer composite (BPC). All GCLs (except GPL2 and GPH) were permeated directly with two synthetic LLW leachates that are essentially identical, except one has no radionuclides (nonradioactive synthetic leachate, or NSL) and the other has radionuclides (radioactive synthetic leachate, or RSL). Hydraulic conductivities to RSL and NSL were identical. For the CS and GS GCLs, the hydraulic conductivity gradually increased by a factor of 5–25 because divalent cations in the leachate replaced native sodium cations bound to the bentonite. The CPL, GPL1, and GPL2 GCLs with low polymer loading (1.2–3.3%) had hydraulic conductivities similar to the conventional GCLs. In contrast, hydraulic conductivity of the CPH, GPH, and BPC GCLs with high polymer loading (≥5%) to RSL or NSL was comparable to, or lower than, the hydraulic conductivity to deionized water. Permeation with leachate reduced the swell index of the bentonite in all of themore » GCLs. A conceptual model featuring pore blocking by polymer hydrogel is proposed to explain why the hydraulic conductivity of bentonite–polymer GCLs to LLW leachates remains low even though the leachate inhibits bentonite swelling.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [2]
  1. Univ. of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA (United States)
  2. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FC01-06EW07053
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 142; Journal Issue: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 1090-0241
Publisher:
American Society of Civil Engineers
Research Org:
Vanderbilt Univ., Nashville, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; Geosynthetic clay liner; Bentonite; Low-level radioactive waste; Polymer; Hydrogel
OSTI Identifier:
1438179

Tian, Kuo, Benson, Craig H., and Likos, William J.. Hydraulic Conductivity of Geosynthetic Clay Liners to Low-Level Radioactive Waste Leachate. United States: N. p., Web. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0001495.
Tian, Kuo, Benson, Craig H., & Likos, William J.. Hydraulic Conductivity of Geosynthetic Clay Liners to Low-Level Radioactive Waste Leachate. United States. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0001495.
Tian, Kuo, Benson, Craig H., and Likos, William J.. 2016. "Hydraulic Conductivity of Geosynthetic Clay Liners to Low-Level Radioactive Waste Leachate". United States. doi:10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0001495. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1438179.
@article{osti_1438179,
title = {Hydraulic Conductivity of Geosynthetic Clay Liners to Low-Level Radioactive Waste Leachate},
author = {Tian, Kuo and Benson, Craig H. and Likos, William J.},
abstractNote = {Hydraulic conductivity was evaluated for eight commercially available geosynthetic clay liners (GCLs) permeated with leachate characteristic of low-level radioactive waste (LLW) disposal facilities operated by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Two of the GCLs (CS and GS) contained conventional sodium bentonite (Na-B). The others contained a bentonite–polymer mixture (CPL, CPH, GPL1, GPL2, and GPH) or bentonite–polymer composite (BPC). All GCLs (except GPL2 and GPH) were permeated directly with two synthetic LLW leachates that are essentially identical, except one has no radionuclides (nonradioactive synthetic leachate, or NSL) and the other has radionuclides (radioactive synthetic leachate, or RSL). Hydraulic conductivities to RSL and NSL were identical. For the CS and GS GCLs, the hydraulic conductivity gradually increased by a factor of 5–25 because divalent cations in the leachate replaced native sodium cations bound to the bentonite. The CPL, GPL1, and GPL2 GCLs with low polymer loading (1.2–3.3%) had hydraulic conductivities similar to the conventional GCLs. In contrast, hydraulic conductivity of the CPH, GPH, and BPC GCLs with high polymer loading (≥5%) to RSL or NSL was comparable to, or lower than, the hydraulic conductivity to deionized water. Permeation with leachate reduced the swell index of the bentonite in all of the GCLs. A conceptual model featuring pore blocking by polymer hydrogel is proposed to explain why the hydraulic conductivity of bentonite–polymer GCLs to LLW leachates remains low even though the leachate inhibits bentonite swelling.},
doi = {10.1061/(ASCE)GT.1943-5606.0001495},
journal = {Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering},
number = 8,
volume = 142,
place = {United States},
year = {2016},
month = {4}
}