Volume 2, Issue 1 (January 2005)

    Plutonium-238 Alpha-Decay Damage Study of A Glass-Bonded Sodalite Ceramic Waste Form

    (Received 15 April 2004; accepted 17 October 2004)

    Published Online: 2005

    CODEN: JAIOAD

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    Abstract

    An accelerated alpha-decay damage study of a glass-bonded sodalite ceramic waste form has been completed recently. The study was designed to investigate the physical and chemical durability of the waste form after exposure to 238Pu alpha decay. The alpha-decay dose at the end of the four year study was approximately 1.0 × 1018 decays/gram of material. The ceramic waste form (CWF) was developed to immobilize fission products accumulated during the treatment of spent nuclear fuel from the Experimental Breeder Reactor II performed at Argonne National Laboratory-West in Idaho. Small quantities of actinide elements are also found in the waste form. The CWF is currently undergoing qualification testing and characterization for acceptance by the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management for geologic disposal. Methods used to monitor the 238Pu-loaded CWF material in this study included: immersion density determination to measure possible macroscopic swelling, chemical durability by leach testing, microstructural analysis by scanning and transmission electron microscopy, and phase composition and stability by powder X-ray and electron diffraction.

    After four years of exposure to alpha decay, the investigation observed little alteration to the CWF. Specifically, the 238Pu-loaded CWF maintained its physical integrity, the density remained constant, no cracking or phase debonding was observed by microscopy, and the material's chemical durability did not change significantly over the duration of the study. The only significant measured change was an increase of the unit-cell lattice parameters of the plutonium oxide and sodalite phases of the material, but these were very small and did not lead to any loss of waste form durability.


    Author Information:

    Frank, SM
    Chemist, Waste Testing Specialist, Deputy Director, Associate Director, Assistant Materials Scientist, Facility Manager, Senior Engineering Technician, Section Head, and Chemist, Engineering Technology Division, Argonne National Laboratory-West, Idaho Falls, ID

    DiSanto, T
    Chemist, Waste Testing Specialist, Deputy Director, Associate Director, Assistant Materials Scientist, Facility Manager, Senior Engineering Technician, Section Head, and Chemist, Engineering Technology Division, Argonne National Laboratory-West, Idaho Falls, ID

    Goff, MK
    Chemist, Waste Testing Specialist, Deputy Director, Associate Director, Assistant Materials Scientist, Facility Manager, Senior Engineering Technician, Section Head, and Chemist, Engineering Technology Division, Argonne National Laboratory-West, Idaho Falls, ID

    Johnson, SG
    Chemist, Waste Testing Specialist, Deputy Director, Associate Director, Assistant Materials Scientist, Facility Manager, Senior Engineering Technician, Section Head, and Chemist, Engineering Technology Division, Argonne National Laboratory-West, Idaho Falls, ID

    Jue, J-F
    Chemist, Waste Testing Specialist, Deputy Director, Associate Director, Assistant Materials Scientist, Facility Manager, Senior Engineering Technician, Section Head, and Chemist, Engineering Technology Division, Argonne National Laboratory-West, Idaho Falls, ID

    Barber, TL
    Chemist, Waste Testing Specialist, Deputy Director, Associate Director, Assistant Materials Scientist, Facility Manager, Senior Engineering Technician, Section Head, and Chemist, Engineering Technology Division, Argonne National Laboratory-West, Idaho Falls, ID

    Noy, M
    Chemist, Waste Testing Specialist, Deputy Director, Associate Director, Assistant Materials Scientist, Facility Manager, Senior Engineering Technician, Section Head, and Chemist, Engineering Technology Division, Argonne National Laboratory-West, Idaho Falls, ID

    O'Holleran, TP
    Chemist, Waste Testing Specialist, Deputy Director, Associate Director, Assistant Materials Scientist, Facility Manager, Senior Engineering Technician, Section Head, and Chemist, Engineering Technology Division, Argonne National Laboratory-West, Idaho Falls, ID

    Giglio, JJ
    Chemist, Waste Testing Specialist, Deputy Director, Associate Director, Assistant Materials Scientist, Facility Manager, Senior Engineering Technician, Section Head, and Chemist, Engineering Technology Division, Argonne National Laboratory-West, Idaho Falls, ID


    Stock #: JAI12421

    ISSN: 1546-962X

    DOI: 10.1520/JAI12421

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    Author
    Title Plutonium-238 Alpha-Decay Damage Study of A Glass-Bonded Sodalite Ceramic Waste Form
    Symposium Effects of Radiation on Materials: 22nd International Symposium, 2004-10-16
    Committee E10