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The reactivity of bentonites: a review. An application to clay barrier stability for nuclear waste storage

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The thermal stability of bentonites is of particular interest for containment barriers in nuclear waste storage facilities. The kinetics of smectite reactions have been investigated under laboratory conditions for some time. The variables of time, chemical composition and temperature have been varied in these experiments. The results of such an assessment are that there are about as many kinetic values deduced from experiments as there are experiments. Experiments using natural bentonite to study the smectite-to-illite conversion have been interpreted as a progressive transformation of montmorillonite to illite. It is highly probable that the initial reaction product is not illite but a high-charge beidellite + saponite + quartz mineral assemblage which gives, then, beidellite-mica interstratified mixed-layer minerals. These experimental reactions are noticeably different from those of diagenesis, being closer to reactions in hydrothermal systems.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Hydrogéologie, Argiles, Sols, Altérations, CNRS-UMR 6532, Univ. Poitiers, 40 avenue du Recteur Pineau, 86022, Poitiers Cedex, France

Publication date: 1998-06-01

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