Calculation of the Diffusion Coefficient of Uranium in Compacted Clay: Effect of the Temperature
Diffusion of Uranium in compacted clay was studied through the non-steady state diffusion method for the safety assessment of the radioactive waste in the storage and disposal practices. Since the permeability of the compacted clay is very low, the main mechanism for radionuclide transport is governed by the diffusion phenomenon. The diffusion process of uranium in compacted clay as a porous medium has been modeled by taking into account the effect of sorption. An increase in temperature, caused by the radiation from the canisters, takes place in the repository. Then, the effect of temperature on textural and structural properties of clay and coefficient diffusion has been examined. First, we examined the structure changes of the clay pellets under the influence of the heat in the temperature range 25–100°C. These changes are studied in the region of mesopores and macropores using the method of the mercury porosimetry. Second, the effect of temperature on the diffusion behavior of uranium was simulated. In these simulations, the experimental values of apparent diffusion coefficients of uranium were used to determine the concentration profiles versus time, depth and temperature. As conclusion, it was shown that the temperature plays an important role in the uranium transport through the compacted clay.
Andreas Öchsner, Graeme E. Murch and João M.P.Q. Delgado
S. Korichi et al., "Calculation of the Diffusion Coefficient of Uranium in Compacted Clay: Effect of the Temperature", Defect and Diffusion Forum, Vols. 312-315, pp. 64-69, 2011