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Title: Development of iron phosphate ceramic waste form to immobilize radioactive waste solution

The objective of this research was to develop an iron phosphate ceramic (IPC) waste form using converter slag obtained as a by-product of the steel industry as a source of iron instead of conventional iron oxide. Both synthetic off-gas scrubber solution containing technetium-99 (or Re as a surrogate) and LiCl-KCl eutectic salt, a final waste solution from pyrochemical processing of spent nuclear fuel, were used as radioactive waste streams. The IPC waste form was characterized for compressive strength, reduction capacity, chemical durability, and contaminant leachability. Compressive strengths of the IPC waste form prepared with different types of waste solutions were 16 MPa and 19 MPa for LiCl-KCl eutectic salt and the off-gas scrubber simulant, respectively, which meet the minimum compressive strength of 3.45 MPa (500 psi) for waste forms to be accepted into the radioactive waste repository. The reduction capacity of converter slag, a main dry ingredient used to prepare the IPC waste form, was 4,136 meq/kg by the Ce(IV) method, which is much higher than those of the conventional Fe oxides used for the IPC waste form and the blast furnace slag materials. Average leachability indexes of Tc, Li, and K for the IPC waste form were higher thanmore » 6.0, and the IPC waste form demonstrated stable durability even after 63-day leaching. In addition, the Toxicity Characteristic Leach Procedure measurements of converter slag and the IPC waste form with LiCl-KCl eutectic salt met the universal treatment standard of the leachability limit for metals regulated by the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act. This study confirms the possibility of development of the IPC waste form using converter slag, showing its immobilization capability for radionuclides in both LiCl-KCl eutectic salt and off-gas scrubber solutions with significant cost savings.« less
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Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Nuclear Materials, 452(1-3):16-23
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States
Iron phosphate ceramic; converter slag; technetium; LiCl-KCl eutectic salt; off-gas scrubber solution