… it was on Diamond’s Long Duration Experimental (LDE) facility, on beamline I11
The experiment, led by Dr Claire Corkhill from the University of Sheffield, has used the world-leading capabilities of the beamline to investigate the hydration of cements used by the nuclear industry for the storage and disposal of waste.
“Understanding the rate at which hydration occurs in cement, a process that can take anywhere up to 50 years, is very important to help us predict the behaviours of cement in the long term,” explained Dr Corkhill.
“These cements are being used to safely lock away the radioactive elements in nuclear waste for timescales of more than 10,000 years, so it is extremely important that we can accurately predict the properties of these materials in the future. The unique facility at Diamond has allowed us to follow this reaction in situ, for 1000 days, and the data is already allowing us to identify particular phases that will safely lock away radioactive elements in 100 years’ time, something we would otherwise not have been able to determine.”