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New scenario for the accumulation and release of radiation damage in rock salt and related materials

By D.I. Vainshtein, H.W. den Hartog, V.I. Dubinko and A.A. Turkin


Rock salt might be a promising geological medium for a radioactive waste repository. However, we have observed that even a basically stable compound such as NaCl may become unstable after heavy irradiation. As a result of the irradiation, dislocations, Na and Cl2 precipitates and large voids are produced followed ultimately by sudden explosion-driven fracture of the material. We present a new concept of the radiation-induced micro-structural evolution, which explains the phenomena observed in heavily irradiated NaCl samples. This concept can be a prototype of a more general assessment of radiation effects in crystalline radwaste and repository materials, which is necessary for the evaluation of critical effects and maximization of the safety of repositories.

Year: 2002
DOI identifier: 10.1016/s0168-583x(02)00548-7
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