© 2019 Elsevier B.V. To ensure the safe disposal of nuclear waste, understanding the release process of radionuclides retained in the nuclear waste forms is of vital importance. Iodoapatite Pb9.85(VO4)6I1.7, a potential waste form for iodine-129, was selected as a model system for ceramic waste forms in this study to understand the effect of aqueous species on iodine release. Semi-dynamic leaching tests were conducted on bulk samples in cap-sealed Teflon vessels with 0.1 mol/L NaCl, Na2CO3, Na3PO4, and Na2SO4 solutions under 90 °C, fixed sample surface area to solution volume ratio of 5/m, and periodic replacement of leaching solutions. The reacted solutions were then analyzed by Inductively Coupled Plasma-Mass Spectrometry and Inductively Coupled Plasma-Optical Emission Spectrometry; the leached surfaces were characterized by X-ray diffraction, scanning electron microscopy, and infrared spectroscopy. The result shows that, compared to deionized water, the ion-rich solutions enhanced the iodine release as a result of the increased ionic strength, reduced activity coefficient of dissolved species, and increased solution pH. Surface reactions can lead to the formations of secondary phases by ion-exchange and precipitation. These findings suggest that an ion-rich environment in the geological repository can be detrimental to the disposal safety of the nuclear waste form.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Journal of Nuclear Materials
Zhang, Z., Gustin, L., Xie, W., Lian, J., Valsaraj, K., & Wang, J. (2019). Effect of solution chemistry on the iodine release from iodoapatite in aqueous environments. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 525, 161-170. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2019.07.034