Radionuclide disposal using the pyrochlore supergroup of minerals as a host matrixA review

McMaster, S, Ram, R, Faris, N and Pownceby, M 2018, 'Radionuclide disposal using the pyrochlore supergroup of minerals as a host matrixA review', Journal of Hazardous Materials, vol. 360, pp. 257-269.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

Title Radionuclide disposal using the pyrochlore supergroup of minerals as a host matrixA review
Author(s) McMaster, S
Ram, R
Faris, N
Pownceby, M
Year 2018
Journal name Journal of Hazardous Materials
Volume number 360
Start page 257
End page 269
Total pages 13
Publisher Elsevier BV
Abstract Since the first large scale commercial nuclear power plant became operational in 1958, the nuclear power industry has been faced with the growing problem of disposal of radionuclides produced from nuclear fission. The current global production of high level nuclear waste is approximately 10,000 metric tons p.a., consisting predominantly of uranium, plutonium, actinides and other minor radionuclides. Developing a safe and cost-effective method for long term storage and disposal of nuclear waste is a key issue of concern to the nuclear power industry. A promising approach to radionuclide disposal is incorporation of the nuclear waste into refractory oxide host minerals or mineral matrices. This technique offers lower leaching rates when compared to the commonly used glass-based vitrification approaches. The refractory pyrochlore supergroup of minerals are particularly attractive for this purpose as they can incorporate considerable amounts of the radionuclides: 93Zr, 133Ba, 135Cs, Th, U, 238Pu, and 244Cm, while demonstrating very low leachability. This review examines the structural, compositional and chemical properties of radionuclide-containing pyrochlore supergroup minerals. Compiled leaching data for radionuclides hosted in pyrochlores demonstrates that these materials offer a high degree of aqueous durability making them strong candidates for radionuclide disposal, offering a viable storage alternative to traditional vitrification methods.
Subject Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Actinide
Disposal
Immobilisation
Pyrochlore
Radionuclide
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.jhazmat.2018.08.037
Copyright notice Crown Copyright © 2018 Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
ISSN 0304-3894
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