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Geoceramic Matrices for Radioactive Waste


Development of Process for Synthesizing Aluminosilicate-Phosphate Geoceramic Matrices Used to Immobilize Radioactive Forms of Strontium and Cesium

Tech Area / Field

  • ENV-RWT/Radioactive Waste Treatment/Environment
  • ENV-WDS/Waste Disposal/Environment

8 Project completed

Registration date

Completion date

Senior Project Manager
Genisaretskaya S V

Leading Institute
Research Institute of Technology, Russia, Leningrad reg., Sosnovy Bor

Supporting institutes

  • St Petersburg State University, Russia, St Petersburg


  • National Institute of Chemical Physics and Biophysics, Estonia, Tallinn\nAlbert-Ludwigs-Universitat Freiburg / Institut für Geowissenschaften, Germany, Freiburg\nConsejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas / Instituto de Ciencias de la Construccion Eduardo Torroja, Spain, Madrid\nUniversity of Helsinki / Laboratory of Radiochemistry, Finland, Helsinki\nSunchon National University, Korea, Sunchon City

Project summary

The necessity to account for 135Cs activity in the strontium–cesium fraction of separated high-level radioactive wastes (HLRW) makes us abandon the concept of radwaste vitrification and seek new matrix forms for ultimate waste storage in deep geological formations.

The purpose of this project is to develop a technology for synthesizing radwaste matrices which will be more durable and safer than glass matrices, and easier obtainable and less expensive than SYNROC-type matrices.

The project tasks:

  1. Development of the physicochemical basis for a technology of separating cesium and strontium radionuclides from nitric solutions produced by deep radiochemical fractionation of spent nuclear fuel and incorporating the radionuclides into corrosion-resistant aluminosilicate-phosphate geoceramics with strontium and cesium content up to 20 %.
  2. Determination of forward (initial) and steady-state rates of sodium, cesium and strontium leaching from geoceramics synthesized using different technologies.
  3. Investigation of the best promising geoceramic samples using optical and electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and microprobe techniques. Investigation of the mineral phases and the main forms of cesium and strontium immobilization in a matrix.
  4. Development of technology for producing aluminosilicate-phosphate matrices in a pilot plant.

The project tasks meet the main objectives of the intersectoral scientific-technological program “Development of highly efficient, safe, and non-polluting power generation technologies, including development of physicochemical basis for radwaste management and creation of ecologically safe technologies, materials, and equipment for integrated solid and liquid radwaste disposal”.

The proposed project will provide weapon scientists and engineers the opportunity to carry out applied research for peaceful purposes and promote integration of scientists into the international scientific community and increase scientific potential of Russia.

The development of new geoceramic matrices for radionuclide immobilization is based on a complex of research efforts reported in scientific papers which describe a concept of minimizing material costs when producing secondary materials used for high-active radwaste immobilization. The concept suggests a) the use of cheap natural raw materials, preferably, industrial wastes; b) relatively low temperatures at which the synthesis is carried out, minimization of power consumption in general; c) orientation to simple technology schemes.

This project responds to the ISTC goals:

  • the project provides NITI’s weapon scientists and engineers with the opportunity to redirect their talents to peaceful activities related to radwaste conditioning and environment protection;
  • the project is based on the latest scientific achievements in the area of radwaste conditioning technologies and promotes integration of nuclear scientists into the international scientific community;
  • implementation of the project has a commercial potential related to the demand for radwaste conditioning technologies ensuring long-term and environmentally safe waste storage and, thus, contributes to transition to a market economy.

The estimated project duration is 24 months. The estimated total amount of the project effort is 3520 person-days. The amount of NITI weapon scientists’ effort is 2400 person-days. Leading radiochemical and radwaste scientists and experts from the Saint-Petersburg State University participate in the project.

Participation of collaborators in the project is suggested as mutual consultations and discussions on the work progress and results.


The International Science and Technology Center (ISTC) is an intergovernmental organization connecting scientists from Kazakhstan, Armenia, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Georgia with their peers and research organizations in the EU, Japan, Republic of Korea, Norway and the United States.


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