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On the Durability of Nuclear Waste Forms from the Perspective of Long-Term Geologic Repository Performance

Sandia National Laboratories, P. O. Box 5800, Albuquerque, NM 87185, USA

High solid/water ratios and slow water percolation cause the water in a repository to quickly (on a repository time scale) reach radionuclide solubility controlled by the equilibrium with alteration products; the total release of radionuclides then becomes insensitive to the dissolution rates of primary waste forms. It is therefore suggested that future waste form development be focused on conditioning waste forms or repository environments to minimize radionuclide solubility, rather than on marginally improving the durability of primary waste forms.
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