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RADIATION EFFECTS ON MEDIUM ACTIVE WASTE FORMS.

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THE PURPOSE OF THIS PROGRAMME IS TO DETERMINE THE EFFECTS OF RADIATION ON THE PROPERTIES OF INTERMEDIATE LEVEL WASTE FORMS RELEVANT TO THEIR STORAGE AND DISPOSAL. IT HAS TWO OVERALL AIMS: TO PROVIDE IMMEDIATE DATA ON THE EFFECTS OF RADIATION ON IMPORTANT EUROPEAN ILW WASTE FORMS THROUGH ACCELERATED LABORATORY TESTS; AND TO DEVELOP AN UNDERSTANDING OF THE DEGRADATION PROCESSES SO THAT LONG-TERM, LOW DOSE RATE EFFECTS CAN BE PREDICTED WITH CONFIDENCE FROM SHORT-TERM, HIGH DOSE RATE EXPERIMENTS.

THE PROGRAMME INCLUDES CEMENTED INORGANIC WASTE FORMS; ORGANIC MATRIX WASTE FORMS; AND CEMENT WASTE FORMS WITH A SUBSTANTIAL ORGANIC COMPONENT. IRRADIATION OF SIMULATED WASTE FORMS IS CARRIED OUT BY EXTERNAL GAMMA SOURCES; BY THE INCORPORATION OF ALPHA EMITTERS, SUCH AS 238PU; AND, IF APPROPRIATE, BY THE INCORPORATION OF BETA EMITTERS. THE IRRADIATED MATERIALS INCLUDE MATRIX MATERIALS AS WELL AS SIMULATED WASTE FORMS. REAL FULLY ACTIVE WASTE FORMS (FAWF) WILL ALSO BE STUDIED.

SPECIFIC TECHNICAL DATA GENERATED INCLUDE INFORMATION ON THE EFFECTS ON: MECHANICAL INTEGRITY; DIMENSIONAL STABILITY; GAS EVOLUTION; RADIONUCLIDE RELEASE; AND MICROSTRUCTURE. OTHER INFORMATION BEING GENERATED INCLUDES MODELS AND PREDICTIVE METHODOLOGY FOR THE ASSESSMENT OF LONG-TERM BEHAVIOUR.

1. SELECTION AND PROCUREMENT OR MANUFACTURE OF SPECIMENS OF SIMULATED WASTE FORMS AND MATRIX MATERIALS.
2. GAMMA-DAMAGE EXPERIMENTS ON MATERIALS FROM 1. MEASURE GAS EVOLUTION AND ABSORPTION. PROVIDE SPECIMENS FOR 4.
3. ALPHA-DAMAGE EXPERIMENTS ON MATERIALS FROM 1. MEASURE GAS EVOLUTION AND ABSORPTION. PROVIDE SPECIMENS FOR 4.
4. ASSESS RADIATION DAMAGE. MONITOR DIMENSIONAL STABILITY, MECHANICAL INTEGRITY, MICROSTRUCTURAL CHANGES, LEACH RATES.
5. BASIC MECHANISMS. DEVELOP THEORETICAL MODELS. MEASURE ANY ADDITIONAL NECESSARY MATERIAL PROPERTIES OF SIMULATES AND MATRICES.
6. PROCURE AND CHARACTERIZE FULLY ACTIVE WASTES.
7. MANUFACTURE FULLY ACTIVE WASTE FORMS (FAWF).
8. AGE FAWF THROUGH SELF-IRRADIATION .
9. MEASURE GAS RELEASE DURING 8.
10. MEASURE PHYSICAL PROPERTIES OF FAWF DURING AGEING.
11. CONCLUSIONS AND FEEDBACK TO 6.

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United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority
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