The present study investigates the retention mechanisms of cesium and strontium for alkali-activated cements. Retention mechanisms such as adsorption and precipitation were examined in light of chemical interactions. Batch adsorption experiments and multi-technical characterizations by using X-ray diffraction, zeta potential measurements, and the N-2 gas adsorption/ desorption methods were conducted for this purpose. Strontium was found to crystalize in alkali-activated cements, while no cesium-bearing crystalline phases were detected. The adsorption kinetics of alkali-activated cements having relatively high adsorption capacities were compatible with pseudo-second-order kinetic model, thereby suggesting that it is governed by complex multistep adsorption. The results provide new insight, demonstrating that characteristics of aluminosilicate gel with a highly negatively charged surface and high micropore surface area facilitated more effective immobilization of cesium and strontium in comparison with calcium silicate hydrates.