Aqueous alteration tests were performed with a Japanese simulated waste glass P0798 in alkaline solutions as a function of pH or species/concentration of alkaline metals in the solution in order to evaluate the alteration conditions determining whether smectite (2:1 clay mineral) or analcime (zeolite) forms as the major alteration-phase. XRD analysis of the alteration-phases showed that smectite forms at any pH between 9.5 and 12, and analcime forms at pH above 11, though the formation also depends on species and concentrations of alkaline metals in the solution. These results cannot agree with the thermodynamically predicted phase stability, e.g., smectite is more stable than the thermodynamic prediction shows. On the basis of the results of alteration conditions, the alteration tests were performed under smectite forming conditions, where only smectite forms or no crystalline phases form, in order to evaluate the alteration rate and the mechanism of cesium release/retention. The results showed that the glass alteration proceeds slowly in proportion to square root of time under smectite forming conditions, which indicates that the alteration rate can be controlled by a diffusion process. It was suggested that the alteration rate under smectite forming conditions is independent of the pH, alkaline metal species/concentration in the solution and whether smectite actually forms or not. The results also indicated that most of cesium dissolved from the glass can be retained in the alteration-phases by reversible sorption onto smectite or irreversible incorporation into analcime, pollucite or solid solutions of them.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes