In the early 1980s a synroc variant, SYNROC-D, was developed for immobilisation of high-level defence waste stored at the Savannah River Plant, USA. A key phase in the immobilisation matrix was spinel, used to immobilise the large proportion of iron and alumina in the waste. Here we examine the feasibility of this approach for other alumina-rich wastes, not necessarily containing iron, derived from the dissolution of aluminium fuel cladding. The advantages of using a magnesia spinel, as opposed to hercynite (FeAl2O4), as the primary alumina-bearing phase are discussed in terms of an increase in waste loading and process flexibility. Two options for sodium incorporation, glass and the titanate phase freudenbergite, are considered.
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