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Title: Synroc tailored waste forms for actinide immobilization
Authors: Gregg, D
Vance, ER
Keywords: Synthetic rocks
Synthetic materials
Titanates
Purex process
Ceramics
Radioactive wastes
Borosphosphate glass
Neutron absorbers
Plutonium
Wastes
Issue Date: 12-Dec-2016
Publisher: De Gruyter
Citation: Gregg, D. & Vance, E.R. (2016). Synroc tailored waste forms for actinide immobilization. Radiochimica Acta, 105(11), pp. 907-925. doi:doi:10.1515/ract-2016-2604
Abstract: Since the end of the 1970s, Synroc at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) has evolved from a focus on titanate ceramics directed at PUREX waste to a platform waste treatment technology to fabricate tailored glass–ceramic and ceramic waste forms for different types of actinide, high- and intermediate level wastes. The particular emphasis for Synroc is on wastes which are problematic for glass matrices or existing vitrification process technologies. In particular, nuclear wastes containing actinides, notably plutonium, pose a unique set of requirements for a waste form, which Synroc ceramic and glass-ceramic waste forms can be tailored to meet. Key aspects to waste form design include maximising the waste loading, producing a chemically durable product, maintaining flexibility to accommodate waste variations, a proliferation resistance to prevent theft and diversion, and appropriate process technology to produce waste forms that meet requirements for actinide waste streams. Synroc waste forms incorporate the actinides within mineral phases, producing products which are much more durable in water than baseline borosilicate glasses. Further, Synroc waste forms can incorporate neutron absorbers and 238U which provide criticality control both during processing and whilst within the repository. Synroc waste forms offer proliferation resistance advantages over baseline borosilicate glasses as it is much more difficult to retrieve the actinide and they can reduce the radiation dose to workers compared to borosilicate glasses. Major research and development into Synroc at ANSTO over the past 40 years has included the development of waste forms for excess weapons plutonium immobilization in collaboration with the US and for impure plutonium residues in collaboration with the UK, as examples. With a waste loading of 40–50 wt.%, Synroc would also be considered a strong candidate as an engineered waste form for used nuclear fuel and highly enriched uranium-rich wastes. © 2011–2018 by Walter de Gruyter GmbH
URI: https://doi.org/10.1515/ract-2016-2604
http://apo.ansto.gov.au/dspace/handle/10238/9002
ISSN: 0033-8230
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