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Title: Radionuclide Migration through Sediment and Concrete: 16 Years of Investigations

The Waste Management Project provides safe, compliant, and cost-effective waste management services for the Hanford Site and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) complex. Part of these services includes safe disposal of low-level waste and mixed low-level waste at the Hanford Low-Level Waste Burial Grounds in accordance with the requirements of DOE Order 435.1, Radioactive Waste Management. To partially satisfy these requirements, performance assessment analyses were completed and approved. DOE Order 435.1 also requires continuing data collection to increase confidence in the critical assumptions used in these analyses to characterize the operational features of the disposal facility that are relied on to satisfy the performance objectives identified in the order. Cement-based solidification and stabilization is considered for hazardous waste disposal because it is easily done and cost-efficient. One critical assumption is that concrete will be used as a waste form or container material at the Hanford Site to control and minimize the release of radionuclide constituents in waste into the surrounding environment. Concrete encasement would contain and isolate the waste packages from the hydrologic environment and act as an intrusion barrier. Any failure of concrete encasement may result in water intrusion and consequent mobilization of radionuclides from the waste packages.more » The radionuclides iodine-129, selenium-75, technetium-99, and uranium-238 have been identified as long-term dose contributors (Mann et al. 2001; Wood et al. 1995). Because of their anionic nature in aqueous solutions, these constituents of potential concern may be released from the encased concrete by mass flow and/or diffusion and migrate into the surrounding subsurface environment (Serne et al. 1989; 1992; 1993a, b; 1995). Therefore, it is necessary to assess the performance of the concrete encasement structure and the ability of the surrounding soil to retard radionuclide migration. Each of the test methods performed throughout the lifetime of the project has focused on different aspects of the concrete waste form weathering process. Diffusion of different analytes [technetium-99 (Tc-99), iodine-125 (I-125), stable iodine (I), uranium (U), and rhenium (Re)] has been quantified from experiments under both saturated and unsaturated conditions. The water-saturated conditions provide a conservative estimate of the concrete’s performance in situ, and the unsaturated conditions provide a more accurate estimate of the diffusion of contaminants from the concrete.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1167312
Report Number(s):
PNNL--23841
830403000
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES concrete; radonuclide; diffusion; saturated; unsaturated