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Interaction of titanium with smectite within the scope of a spent fuel repository: A spectroscopic approach

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Daniel Grolimund*
Paul Scherrer Institute, CH-5232 Villigen PSI, Switzerland
Paul Wersin
University of Bern, CH-3012 Bern, Switzerland
Jocelyne Brendlé
Université de Haute-Alsace, F-68093 Mulhouse, France
Joffrey Huve
Université de Haute-Alsace, F-68093 Mulhouse, France
Leena Kiviranta
B+Tech Oy, FIN-00420 Helsinki, Finland
Margit Snellman
Saanio & Riekkola Oy, FIN-00420 Helsinki, Finland
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The Swedish and Finnish nuclear waste repository design, KBS-3H, foresees horizontal emplacement of copper canisters-bentonite modules surrounded by a titanium shell. The interaction of titanium with bentonite was studied here using a combination of wet chemistry and a spectroscopic approach to evaluate the potential impact of Ti corrosion on the clay. For natural analogue clays with high Ti contents, spectroscopic investigations showed that titanium occurs as crystalline TiO2. In contrast, the Ti in the MX-80 bentonite occurs in the clay structure, presumably in the octahedral sheet. Hydrothermal tests conducted at 200°C using synthetic montmorillonite showed little if any change in the montmorillonite structure at near-neutral and acidic conditions. Under alkaline conditions, limited alteration was observed, including the formation of trioctahedral clay minerals and zeolite. These changes, however, occurred independently of the addition of Ti. In the batch tests conducted at 80°C, Ti did not occur as separate TiO2 particles. The comparison of experimental data with spectroscopic simulations provides sound evidence that Ti was incorporated in a neoformed phyllosilicate structure.

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