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Title: Selection of actinide chemical analogues for WIPP tests

The Department of Energy must demonstrate the effectiveness of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) as a permanent repository for the disposal of transuranic (TRU) waste. Performance assessments of the WIPP require that estimates of the transportability and outcome of the radionuclides (actinides) be determined from disposal rooms that may become either partially or completely filled with brine. Federal regulations limit the amount of radioactivity that may be unintentionally released to the accessible environment by any mechanism during the post closure phase up to 10,000 years. Thermodynamic models have been developed to predict the concentrations of actinides in the WIPP disposal rooms under various situations and chemical conditions. These models are based on empirical and theoretical projections of the chemistry that might be present in and around the disposal room zone for both near and long-term periods. The actinides that are known to be present in the TRU wastes (and are included in the model) are Th, U, Np, Pu, and Am. Knowledge of the chemistry that might occur in the disposal rooms when the waste comes in contact with brine is important in understanding the range of oxidation states that might be present under different conditions. There is amore » need to establish the mechanisms and resultant rate of transport, migration, or effective retardation of actinides beyond the disposal rooms to the boundary of the accessible environment. The influence of the bulk salt rock, clay sediments and other geologic matrices on the transport behavior of actinides must be determined to establish the overall performance and capability of the WIPP in isolating waste from the environment. Tests to determine the capabilities of the WIPP geologic formations in retarding actinide species in several projected oxidation states would provide a means to demonstrate the effectiveness of the WIPP in retaining TRU wastes.« less
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
LA-UR--97-3407; CONF-971083--
ON: DE98000284; TRN: 97:005552
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Resource Relation:
Conference: Low level radioactive waste technical seminar, Cordova (Spain), 8 Oct 1997; Other Information: PBD: 5 Jul 1995
Research Org:
Los Alamos National Lab., NM (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Assistant Secretary for Human Resources and Administration, Washington, DC (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States