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Reference Number EP/T016337/1
Title Intermediate range order effects in radioactive waste glasses: implications for aqueous durability and mechanical properties
Status Started
Energy Categories NUCLEAR FISSION and FUSION(Nuclear Fission, Nuclear supporting technologies) 90%;
NUCLEAR FISSION and FUSION(Nuclear Fusion) 10%;
Research Types Basic and strategic applied research 100%
Science and Technology Fields PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Chemistry) 25%;
PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Physics) 25%;
PHYSICAL SCIENCES AND MATHEMATICS (Metallurgy and Materials) 50%;
UKERC Cross Cutting Characterisation Not Cross-cutting 80%;
Sociological economical and environmental impact of energy (Other sociological economical and environmental impact of energy) 10%;
Other (Energy technology information dissemination) 10%;
Principal Investigator Dr M K Patel
No email address given
Mech, Materials & Aerospace Engineerin
University of Liverpool
Award Type Standard
Funding Source EPSRC
Start Date 01 July 2021
End Date 30 June 2024
Duration 36 months
Total Grant Value £863,375
Industrial Sectors Energy
Region North West
Programme Energy : Energy
 
Investigators Principal Investigator Dr M K Patel , Mech, Materials & Aerospace Engineerin, University of Liverpool (99.993%)
  Other Investigator Dr I Farnan , Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge (0.001%)
Professor RW Grimes , Materials, Imperial College London (0.001%)
Dr KR Whittle , Engineering Materials, University of Sheffield (0.001%)
Dr L Leay , Electrical & Electronic Engineering, University of Manchester (0.001%)
Dr PA Bingham , Faculty of Arts Computing Eng and Sci, Sheffield Hallam University (0.001%)
Dr R Singh , Civil, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, University of Surrey (0.001%)
Dr K Trachenko , Physics and Astronomy, Queen Mary, University of London (0.001%)
  Industrial Collaborator Project Contact , National Nuclear Laboratory (0.000%)
Project Contact , Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, India (0.000%)
Project Contact , Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, India (0.000%)
Project Contact , James Kent Group (0.000%)
Project Contact , TRANSCEND University Consortium (0.000%)
Web Site
Objectives
Abstract Radioactive waste occurs as a wide variety of radioactive elements that must be immobilised in a matrix of glass or ceramic or a composite, before disposal in a geological repository. This matrix, commonly known as the waste form, must be able to accommodate the wide range of species present in the waste and be resistant to leaching and mechanical fracture for the lifetime of radioactive species, typically 10,000 years or more. Glass, having an amorphous structure, is able to accommodate a wide range of radioactive waste species. In addition, glass fabrication technology is well established to produce these waste forms at large scale and this has been carried out for some years in both the UK and India, among several other countries.The proposed project aims to understand the phase stability, thermal and radiation effects in radioactive waste glasses, in light of atomic scale structural changes due to radiation effects. These modifications will then be correlated with glass dissolution and mechanical properties such as cracking/fracture. The glasses selected are critical to the radioactive waste management programs in the UK and India, thus complementing methods and scientific expertise to realise clean, safe and economical energy from nuclear technology whilst presenting the most robust safety case for waste disposal. Our specific aims will be to: (1) understand the phase stability of glasses as a function of different divalent cations and addition of waste species; (2) define 'radiation damage' in an already amorphous/disordered material system and predict how radiation-induced modifications will affect dissolution properties over long timescales; and (3) understand the evolution of glass structure and properties under a temperature gradient and after undergoing annealing treatments.In order that radioactive waste should no longer be deemed as an 'issue' rather than a practice that can be trusted by public opinion, the methods and materials employed to immobilise radioactive waste must be fundamentally understood and scientifically verified. This project aims at improving this confidence. Our detailed User Engagement Strategy will ensure that groups from the public and members of communities that may be involved in selection of a geological disposal facility, as well as the nuclear industry and supply chain, government and civil servants, and a wide range of academics, will be engaged throughout and beyond this project to deliver maximum impact from our proposed research.
Publications (none)
Final Report (none)
Added to Database 24/08/21