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The solidification of spent ion exchange resins in a grout matrix as a means of disposing of spent organic resins produced in the nuclear fuel cycle has many advantages in terms of process simplicity and economy, but associated with the process is the potential for water/ cement/resins to interact and degrade the integrity of the solidified waste form. Described in this paper is one possible solution to preserving the integrity of these solidified waste forms: the encapsulation of beaded anion exchange resins in grout formulations containing ground granulated blast furnace slag, Type I-II (mixed) portland cement, and additives (clays, amorphous silica, silica fume, and fly ash). The results of the study reported herein show that the cured waste form tested has a low leach rate for nitrate ion from the resin [and a low leach rate is inferred for Technetium-99 (Tc-99)] and acceptable durability as assessed by the water immersion and freezing/thawing test protocols (but often not as assessed by a wetting/drying test protocol). The results also suggest that a tested surrogate waste form prepared in vinyl ester styrene binder performs satisfactorily against the wetting/drying criterion, and it should offer additional insight into future work on the solidification of spent organic resins.
cement waste forms, durability testing, ion exchange resins, solidification, vinyl ester styrene waste forms, wetting/drying test
Senior engineering assistant, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Oak Ridge, TN
Head, Applied Technology Organization, Martin Marietta Energy Systems, Oak Ridge, TN