Cementitious materials for the construction of a geological repository of radioactive waste alter the pH of groundwater to a highly alkaline condition (pH ≈ 13). While this alkaline groundwater dissolves silicate minerals, the soluble silicic acid polymerizes or deposits on the surface of rock with the decrease in pH by mixing with the surrounding groundwater (pH = 8). In particular, the deposition of silicic acid leads to a clogging effect in flow-paths, which retards the migration of radionuclides. This study estimated the clogging of silicic acid in flow-paths with the one-dimensional advection–dispersion model considering the deposition rate constants evaluated in our previous study. As some of the most important parameters, these estimations focused on the initial supersaturated concentration of silicic acid and the density of deposited minerals. As a result, the aperture of flow-paths (initial width: 0.1 mm, flow-rate: 5 m/y, initial supersaturated concentration of silicic acid: 0.01, 0.1 and 1.0 mM) was almost clogged within about 200 y by the deposition of silicic acid. The period for the clogging became shorter under the conditions of higher initial supersaturated concentration and lower density of deposited minerals. In other words, the use of cementitious materials for constructing the repository might produce a retardation effect of radionuclide migration by the deposition/clogging processes of the supersaturated silicic acid.

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