R&D

Cement-Organic-Radionuclide interactions (CORI)

Improved understanding of the role off organics (either naturally occurring or as introduced in the wastes and their influence on radionuclide migration in cement based environments).

‘What’

This WP aims to develop an in-depth understanding of the interaction of cementitious materials with omnipresent organic matter and with radionuclides. Organic materials are present in some nuclear waste and as admixtures in cement-based materials and can potentially influence the performance of a geological disposal system, especially in the context of low and intermediate level waste disposal. The potential accelerating effect of organic molecules on radionuclide migration is related to the formation of complexes in solution with some radionuclides of interest (actinides and lanthanides) which can (i) increase the radionuclide solubility and (ii) decrease the radionuclide sorption. The WP’s raison d’être is to quantify the organic release issues which can accelerate the radionuclide migration in the context of the post closure phase of geological repositories for ILW and LLW/VLLW, including surface/shallow disposal.

‘Why’

The thematic represented by the WP Cori has been selected for the first phase of the EJP as “improved understanding of the role of organics (either naturally occurring or introduced by the wastes) and their influence on radionuclide migration” was identified as an important subject in theme 4 (Geoscience to understand rock properties, radionuclide transport and long-term geological evolution) phase 1 and 2 of the roadmap. Due to the potential degradation of organic matter, this subject is particularly challenging in cementitious environments. Due to the importance of this subject in national programs, various mandated actors are working already since long time on the issues addressed by this WP (see for instance the meetings of the former TSWG in May 2013, Ghent, Belgium, leading to CEBAMA, or the latter extended discussion on CORI at the IGD-TP EF 6 (2015) in London, UK). Over this entire period, partners were eager to join forces for a strong improvement in scientific understanding allowing assessing long term radionuclide mobility in organic rich cementitious waste disposal environments.