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Strontium Leachability of Hydrofracture Grouts for Sludge-Slurries

  • M. T. Morgan (a1), E. W. Mcdaniel (a1), J. G. Moore (a1), H. E. Devaney (a1) and L. R. Dole (a1)...

Abstract

This paper summarizes a series of experiments to determine the strontium leachability of cement-based sludge-slurry hydrofracture grouts.

The hydrofracture process has been used at ORNL since 1966 for the routine disposal of intermediate-level waste (ILW) solutions. In this process, cement and other additives are mixed with a waste stream to form grout, which is then injected into a shale bed at a pressure sufficient to cause fracturing along the horizontal bedding planes. This injected grout soon hardens, fixing the radionuclides between layers of the massive Conasauga shale formation.

Modified IAEA dynamic leach tests on hydrofracture grout specimens showed improved leach resistance (by a factor of 3 to 5) as the curing time increased from 28 d to 91 d. A weak trend toward lower leachability with increased amounts of dry solids was observed.

The moving boundary-plus-diffusion leach model fits the dynamic leach data successfully in most cases. An apparent diffusion coefficient of 5 × 10−12 cm2/s and a moving boundary coefficent of 1 × 10−7 s−1 were obtained when one of the best grout compositions was leached in distilled water.

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References

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1. Weeren, H. O. and Mackey, T. S., Waste Sludge Resuspension and Transfer - Development Program, ORNL/TM–7125 (September 1980).
2. DeLaguna, W., Tamura, T., Weeren, H. O., Struxness, E. C., McClain, W. C., and Sexton, R. C., Engineering Development of Hydraulic Fracturing as a Method for Permanent Disposal of Radioactive Wastes, ORNL–4259 (August 1968).
3. Weeren, H. O., Shale Fracturing Injections at Oak Ridge National Laboratory - 1972 Series, ORNL/TM–4467 (June 1974).
4. Weeren, H. O., Shale Fracturing Injections at Oak Ridge National Laboratory - 1975 Series, ORNL/TM–5545 (August 1976).
5. Weeren, H. O., Shale Fracturing Injections at Oak Ridge National Laboratory - 1977–1979 Series, ORNL/TM–7421 (September 1980).
6. McDaniel, E. W., Rheology of Sludge-Slurry Grouts, ORNL/TM–7497 (October 1980).
7. Moore, J. G., Godbee, H. W., Kibbey, A. H., and Joy, D. S., Development of Cementitious Grouts for the Incorporation of Radioactive Wastes, Part 1: Leach Studies, ORNL–4962 (April 1975).
8. Moore, J. G., Development of Cementitious Grouts for the Incorporation of Radioactive Wastes, Part 2: Continuation of Cesium and Strontium Leach Studies, ORNL–5142 (September 1976).
9. International Atomic Energy Agency, “Leach Testing of Immobilized Radioactive Waste Solids, A Proposal for a Standard Method,” ed. by E. D. Hespe, At. Energy Rev. 9(1), 195207 (1971).
10. Godbee, H. W., Compere, E. L., Joy, D. S., Kibbey, A. H., Moore, J. G., and Nestor, C. W. Jr., “Applications of Mass Transport Theory to the Leaching of Radionuclides from Waste Solids,” Nucl. Chem. Waste Management 1, 2935 (1980).
11. McDaniel, E. W., Morgan, M. T., Moore, J. G., Devaney, H. E., and Dole, L. R., Strontium Leachability of Hydrofracture Grouts for Sludge-Slurries, ORNL/TM–8198 (March 1982).
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