Vitrified Hillforts as Anthropogenic Analogues for Nuclear Waste Glasses – Project Planning and Initiation

Vitrified Hillforts as Anthropogenic Analogues for Nuclear Waste Glasses – Project Planning and Initiation

R. Sjöblom J. Weaver  D. Peeler  J. Mccloy A. A. Kruger  E. Ogenhall  E. Hjärthner-Holdar 

Waste Science & Technology, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå, Sweden / Tekedo AB, Nyköping, Sweden

Department of Chemistry, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA, USA

School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, Washington State University, Pullman, WA, USA

Department of Energy, Office of River Protection, Richland, WA, USA

The Archaeologists, Geoarchaeological Laboratory, National Historical Museums (SHMM), Uppsala, Sweden

01 November 2016
| Citation



Nuclear waste must be deposited in such a manner that it does not cause significant impact on the environment or human health. In some cases, the integrity of the repositories will need to sustain for tens to hundreds of thousands of years. In order to ensure such containment, nuclear waste is frequently converted into a very durable glass. It is fundamentally difficult, however, to assure the validity of such containment based on short-term tests alone. To date, some anthropogenic and natural volcanic glasses have been investigated for this purpose. However, glasses produced by ancient cultures for the purpose of joining rocks in stonewalls have not yet been utilised in spite of the fact that they might offer significant insight into the long-term durability of glasses in natural environments. Therefore, a project is being initiated with the scope of obtaining samples and characterising their environment, as well as to investigate them using a suite of advanced materials characterisation techniques. It will be analysed how the hillfort glasses may have been prepared, and to what extent they have altered under in-situ conditions. The ultimate goals are to obtain a better understanding of the alteration behaviour of nuclear waste glasses and its compositional dependence, and thus to improve and validate models for nuclear waste glass corrosion. The paper deals with project planning and initiation, and also presents some early findings on fusion of amphibolite and on the process for joining the granite stones in the hillfort walls.


ageing, amphibolite, analogue, anthropogenic, Broborg, glass, hillfort, hill-fort, leaching, long-lived, nuclear, rampart, waste


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