Use of bentonite for isolation of radioactive waste products

R. Pusch
1992 Clay minerals  
Sodium smectite clay, commercially available in the form of bentonite powder, serves as a very effective water flow barrier and cation exchanger. At bulk densities between 1·9 and 2·2 g/cm3 after water uptake to reach complete saturation, the hydraulic conductivity is of the order of 10−14 to 10−13 m/s. The swelling potential produces a tight contact with confining structures, which makes bentonite ideal as overpack of rock-deposited radioactive canisters and for borehole and shaft sealing. At
more » ... shaft sealing. At bulk densities between 1·1 and 1·3 g/cm3, the hydraulic conductivity of smectite gels is still sufficiently low to make them useful as effective grouts for sealing rock fractures. The longevity in a granite environment is very significant and the ultimate transformation residue—hydrous mica ("illite")—preserves some of the excellent sealing properties of smectites.
doi:10.1180/claymin.1992.027.3.08 fatcat:hrarf4b5nbeljik6g6vpxaqm7e