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Report No.

Using natural systems evidence to test models of transformation of montmorillonite

Savage, D.*; Wilson, J.*; Benbow, S.*; Sasamoto, Hiroshi; Oda, Chie; Walker, C.*; Kawama, Daisuke*; Tachi, Yukio

Safety functions for the clay buffer in a repository for high-level radioactive waste (HLW) are fulfilled if the presence of montmorillonite with high swelling capacity and low permeability is maintained in the long-term. The transformation of montmorillonite to the non-swelling mineral likely illite is addressed in most safety assessments by using simple semi-empirical kinetic models, but this approach contrasts with more complex reactive-transport simulations. In the present study, reactive-transport simulations are compared with simple semi-empirical kinetic models. Results suggest that reactive-transport simulations err on the side of conservatism, but may produce unrealistic estimates of illitization. This comparison demonstrates that reactive-transport models may be carefully applied to simulate the long-term evolution of near field environment for HLW disposal.



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Category:Chemistry, Physical



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