© 2018 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Safe disposal of nuclear waste is essential to ensure the sustainability of nuclear energy. This is especially true for the volatile radionuclide iodine-129 due to its long half-life (15.7 Ma) and high mobility in most disposal environments. The dissolution behaviour of lead vanadium iodoapatite (Pb5(VO4)3I) synthesized to evaluate its possible use for immobilizing iodine-129 was investigated to understand the mechanism by which iodide is released. Experiments using a semi-dynamic method were carried out in cap-sealed Teflon vessels at a constant temperature 90 ± 0.5 °C with a fixed sample surface area-to-solution volume ratio of 16 m-1. The leachates were analyzed using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and the leached surfaces were examined by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and infrared spectroscopy (IR). The results show that lead and vanadium dissolved congruently at a constant rate, while the iodine was initially released at a significantly higher rate than suggested by its stoichiometry with respect to lead and vanadium. The iodine-to-lead molar ratio in the solution gradually decreased over time, but iodine release remained superstoichiometric. The results suggest the release of iodide occurs by an ion-exchange process that is faster than the dissolution rate of the Pb-V-O framework. Analysis of the leached samples shows that the spectroscopic signature of OH groups in the leached samples is consistent with an ion exchange mechanism.
Publication Source (Journal or Book title)
Zhang, Z., Heath, A., Valsaraj, K., Ebert, W., Yao, T., Lian, J., & Wang, J. (2018). Mechanism of iodine release from iodoapatite in aqueous solution. RSC Advances, 8 (8), 3951-3957. https://doi.org/10.1039/c7ra11049a