Technical Report NTB 02-21

Glass Dissolution Parameters: Update for Entsorgungsnachweis

This document provides updated long-term corrosion rates for borosilicate glasses used in Switzerland as a matrix for high-level radioactive waste. The new rates are based on long-term leaching experiments conducted at PSI and are corroborated by recent investigations. The asymptotic rates have been determined through weighted linear regressions of the normalised mass losses, directly calculated from B and Li concentrations in the leaching solutions. Special attention was given to the determination of the analytical uncertainty of the mass losses. The sensitivity of the corrosion rates to analytical uncertainties and to other criteria (e.g. the choice of data points for the regressions) was also studied. A major finding was that the uncertainty of the corrosion rate mainly depends on the uncertainty of the specific glass surface area. The reference rates proposed for safety assessment calculations are 1.5 mg m-2 d-1 for BNFL glasses and 0.2 mg m-2 d-1 for COGEMA glasses.

The relevance of the proposed corrosion rates for repository conditions is shown based on the analysis of processes and parameters currently known to affect the long-term kinetics of silicate glasses. Specifically, recent studies indicate that potentially detrimental effects, notably the removal of silica from solution through adsorption on clay minerals, are transitory and will not affect the long-term corrosion rate of the Swiss reference glasses. Iron corrosion products are also known to bind silica, but present data are not sufficient to quantify their influence on the long-term rate.