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TitleThe suitability of a supersulfated cement for nuclear waste immobilisation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsCollier, N.C., Milestone N.B., Gordon L.E., and Ko S.-C.
JournalJournal of Nuclear Materials
Pagination457 - 464
Date Published2014
ISSN00223115 (ISSN)
KeywordsAluminium hydroxide, aluminum, Calcium silicate hydrate, Cements, Encapsulation matrices, Hardened cement paste, Micro-structural properties, Ordinary Portland cement, Radioactive waste transportation, Radioactive wastes, Silicate minerals, Slags, Supersulfated cement, Waste immobilisation
AbstractComposite cements based on ordinary Portland cement are used in the UK as immobilisation matrices for low and intermediate level nuclear wastes. However, the high pore solution pH causes corrosion of some metallic wastes and undesirable expansive reactions, which has led to alternative cementing systems being examined. We have investigated the physical, chemical and microstructural properties of a supersulfated cement in order to determine its applicability for use in nuclear waste encapsulation. The hardened supersulfated cement paste appeared to have properties desirable for use in producing encapsulation matrices, but the high powder specific surface resulted in a matrix with high porosity. Ettringite and calcium silicate hydrate were the main phases formed in the hardened cement paste and anhydrite was present in excess. The maximum rate of heat output during hydration of the supersulfated cement paste was slightly higher than that of a 9:1 blastfurnace slag:ordinary Portland cement paste commonly used by the UK nuclear waste processing industry, although the total heat output of the supersulfated cement paste was lower. The pH was also significantly lower in the supersulfated cement paste. Aluminium hydroxide was formed on the surface of aluminium metal encapsulated in the cement paste and ettringite was detected between the aluminium hydroxide and the hardened cement paste. © 2014 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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