Diffusion of Sorbing and Non-Sorbing Radionuclides

by I. R. Triay, Los Alamos Natl Lab, Los Alamos, United States,
K. H. Birdsell, Los Alamos Natl Lab, Los Alamos, United States,
A. J. Mitchell, Los Alamos Natl Lab, Los Alamos, United States,
M. A. Ott, Los Alamos Natl Lab, Los Alamos, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: High Level Radioactive Waste Management 1993


Diffusion is considered one of the most important retardation mechanisms in fractured media. The diffusion experiments conducted involved solid tuff and groundwater from Yucca Mountain. The uptake of radionuclides by the tuff was studied utilizing containers made of tuff in the form of beakers. The solution containing the radionuclides of interest was placed in the tuff beaker cavity and the uptake of the radionuclides by the tuff was measured as a function of time. Our results indicate that the diffusion coefficient for nonsorbing radionuclides into saturated Yucca Mountain tuff is on the order of 10-6 cm2/s. Large anions, such as pertechnetate are excluded from tuff pores and their diffusion coefficients are on the order of 10-7cm2/s. Comparison of the predictions for the uptake of sorbing radionuclides by the tuff with the actual data obtained indicates that conservative transport calculations will result from predicting diffusion using the batch sorption coefficient for the sorbing radionuclide and the diffusion coefficient obtained for tritiated water.

Subject Headings: Radioactive materials | Diffusion | Radioactive wastes | Water storage | Water conservation | Waste storage | Sorption

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