Title: The Influence of Colloid Formation in a Granite Groundwater Bentonite Porewater Mixing Zone on Radionuclide Speciation
Citation: JOURNAL OF CONTAMINANT HYDROLOGY vol. 102 no. 3-4 p. 263-272
Publication Year: 2008
JRC N°: JRC49131
ISSN: 0169-7722
URI: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jconhyd
DOI: 10.1016/j.jconhyd.2008.09.020
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: In the context of deep geological storage of high level nuclear waste the repository will be designed as multiple barrier system including bentonite as buffer/backfill material and the host rock formation as geological barrier. The engineered barrier (bentonite) will be in contact with the host rock formation and consequently it can be expected that bentonite porewater will mix with formation groundwater. We simulate in this study the mixing of Grimsel groundwater (glacial melt water) with synthetic Febex porewater (assuming already saturated state) in a batch-type study and investigate the formation of colloids by laser-induced breakdown detection (LIBD) and SEM-EDX as well as the changes in radionuclide (U, Th, Eu) speciation via ultrafiltration or via time-resolved laser fluorescence spectroscopy (TRLFS) analysis in the case of Cm(III). Based on PHREEQC saturation index (SI) calculations a precipitation of calcite might be expected at low Febex porewater (FPW) content (b20%), fluorite precipitation at FPW contents b60% and gibbsite precipitation at FPW contents above 10%. The colloids generated in the mixing zone aggregate when the synthetic FPW content exceeds 10%. LIBD analysis of the time-dependent colloid generation/aggregation revealed a low concentration of colloids to be stable with an estimated plateau value around 100¿200 ppt and an average colloid diameter around 30 nm after 140 days reaction time at FPW admixture N10%. SEM/EDX mostly identifies Al/Si containing colloidal phases and some sulfates could be found under certain admixture ratios. TRLFS studies show that the Cm speciation is strongly influenced by colloid formation in all solutions. In the Febex pore water/GGW mixing zone with high groundwater contents (N80%) colloids are newly formed and Cm is almost quantitatively associated with most likely polysilicilic acid colloids.
JRC Institute:Institute for Transuranium Elements

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