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Iodine and selenium migration through argillaceous rock

Benjamin Frasca has defended his thesis on the 9th November 2011 in Orsay.

Document type > *Mémoire/HDR/Thesis

Keywords >

Research Unit > IRSN/DEI/SARG/LR2S

Authors > FRASCA Benjamin

Publication Date > 09/11/2011


Deep argillaceous formations are considered as potential host rock for high-level radioactive waste repository. Based on safety assessment calculations, active selenium (79Se) and iodine (129I) from high level radioactive waste might be ones of the major dose contributors due to their longevity and their anionic character. However, because of their high sensitivity to redox condition, a special attention to the oxidation state of these elements is required. A comparative study on the diffusion properties of selenium and iodine through argillaceous rocks was realized with the aim to determine the effects of both the redox conditions and the mineralogy on the migration of these two elements. For these purposes, we have studied two argillaceous rocks: Toarcian argillite from Tournemire (France) and Opalinus clay (OPA) from the Mont-Terri (Switzerland). The study of the iodide migration allowed to confirm the control on the iodide retention of both oxidized pyrite and natural organic matter. A kinetic control of the iodide sorption is also suspected. We focus the selenium study on the more oxidized species, Se(IV) and Se(VI). The Se(IV) migration is strongly dependant from oxydo-reduction processes. Indeed, the Se(IV) diffusion experiments through Tournemire argillite and OPA indicated a significant reduction associated to Fe(II). The Se(VI) study evidenced a behavior dependant from the initial concentration : at the highest concentration, no significant retention was observed while the retention is significant at the lowest concentration. Futhermore, spectroscopic analyses tend to show a low Se(VI) reduction at the Fe contact. However, biotic origin cannot be excluded.


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