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Title: Assessment of the evolution of the redox conditions in a low and intermediate level nuclear waste repository (SFR1, Sweden)
Author: Duro, L.
Domènech Ortí, Cristina
Grivé, M.
Roman-Ross, G.
Bruno, J.
Källström, K.
Keywords: Geoquímica
Residus radioactius
Radioactive wastes
Issue Date: 15-May-2014
Publisher: Elsevier Ltd
Abstract: The evaluation of the redox conditions in an intermediate and low level radioactive waste repository such as SFR1 (Sweden) is of high relevance in the assessment of its future performance. The SFR1 repository contains heterogeneous types of wastes, of different activity levels and with very different materials, both in the waste itself and as immobilisation matrices and packaging. The level of complexity also applies to the different reactivity of the materials, so that an assessment of the uncertainties in the study of how the redox conditions would evolve must consider different processes, materials and parameters. This paper provides an assessment of the evolution of the redox conditions in the SFR1. The approach followed is based on the evaluation of the evolution of the redox conditions and the reducing capacity in 15 individual waste package types, selected as being representative of most of the different waste package types present or planned to be deposited in the SFR1. The model considers different geochemical processes of redox relevance in the system. The assessment of the redox evolution of the different vaults of the repository is obtained by combining the results of the modelled individual waste package types. According to the model results, corrosion of the steel-based material present in the repository keeps the system under reducing conditions for long time periods. The simulations have considered both the presence and the absence of microbial activity. In the initial step after the repository closure, the microbial mediated oxidation of organic matter rapidly causes the depletion of oxygen in the system. The system is afterwards kept under reducing conditions, and hydrogen is generated due to the anoxic corrosion of steel. The times for exhaustion of the steel contained in the vaults vary from 5 ky to more than 60 ky in the different vaults, depending on the amount and the surface area of steel. After the complete corrosion of steel, the system still keeps a high reducing capacity, due to the magnetite formed as steel corrosion product. The redox potential in the vaults is calculated to evolve from oxidising at very short times, due the initial oxygen content, to very reducing at times shorter than 5 years after repository closure. The redox potential imposed by the anoxic corrosion of steel and hydrogen production is on the order of -0.75 V at pH 12.5. In case of assuming that the system responds to the Fe(III)/Magnetite system, and considering the uncertainty in the pH due to the degradation of the concrete barriers, the redox potential would be in the range -0.7 to -0.01V. A Monte-Carlo probabilistic analysis on the rate of corrosion of steel shows that the reducing capacity of the system provided by magnetite is not exhausted at the end of the assessment period, even assuming the highest corrosion rates for steel. Simulations assuming presence of oxic water due to glacial melting, intruding the system 60 ky after repository closure, indicate that magnetite is progressively oxidised, forming Fe(III) oxides. The time at which magnetite is completely oxidised varies depending on the amount of steel initially present in the waste package. The behaviour of Np, Pu, Tc and Se under the conditions foreseen for this repository is discussed.
Note: Versió postprint del document publicat a:
It is part of: Applied Geochemistry, 2014, vol. 49, p. 192-205
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ISSN: 0883-2927
Appears in Collections:Articles publicats en revistes (Mineralogia, Petrologia i Geologia Aplicada)

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