Glass monoliths of the WVCM 44, WVCM 50, SRL 165, and SRL 202 compositions were reacted in steam and in hydrothermal liquid at 200°C. The glass reaction resulted in the formation of leached surface layers in both environments. The reaction in steam proceeds at a very low rate until precipitates form, after which the glass reaction proceeds at a greater rate. Precipitates were formed on all glass types reacted in steam. The assemblage of phases formed was unique to each glass type, but several precipitates were common to all glasses, including analcime, gyrolite, and weeksite. Reaction in steam occurs in a thin layer of condensed water which becomes saturated with respect to the observed phases after only a few days of reaction. The reaction in steam is accelerated relative to reaction in hydrothermal liquid in the sense that secondary phases form after a shorter reaction time, that is, after less glass has reacted, because of the smaller effective leachant volume present in the steam environment. A knowledge of the secondary phases which form and their influence on the glass reaction rate is crucial to the modeling effort of the repository program.
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Ebert, W.L., Bates, J.K. The Reaction of Synthetic Nuclear Waste Glass in Steam and Hydrothernal Solution. MRS Online Proceedings Library 176, 339 (1989). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-176-339