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The alpha emissions constitute almost entirely the radiation field of spent nuclear fuel after 500 years in a geological repository. In this work the effect of alpha radiolysis on the fuel dissolution in the near field was studied Pellets of UO2 doped with 10% wt and 0.1 % wt of ( alpha emitters) were prepared using a solgel method which provides homogenous distribution of the dopant in the UO2 matrix. The sintered materials were extensively characterized. Static leaching tests on these materials were carried out under anoxic conditions in deaerated water at room temperature. The results show that the uranium release from the matrix increases for higher dopant concentration. Under these experimental conditions it was difficult to observe a clear radiolysis effect on dissolution of the material containing 0.1% wt of238 Pu.
In order to study the radiation damage due to alpha decay in the fluorite type lattice of th UO2 the variation of the lattice parameter as a function of time was measured. An increase of the lattice parameter of ~0,2% was observed in the UO2 doped with 10% wt of plutonium. In the case of the UO2 doped with 0,1% wt 238 Pu, the lattice parameter did not vary significantly during the same time interval.

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Authors: COBOS J, CIEMAT Madrid (ES);RONDINELLA R R, ITU Karlruhe, Karlsruhe (DE);WISS T, ITU Karlruhe, Karlsruhe (DE);MATZKE H, ITU Karlruhe, Karlsruhe (DE)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: 24th Annual Meeting of the Spanish Nuclear Society, Valladolid (ES), October 14-16th, 1998
Availability: Available from DG XIII as Paper EN 41935 ORA
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