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Corrosion and dissolution of UO(2) doped with short-lived alpha-emitters, the so called alpha-doped UO(2), was used in leaching experiments to evaluate the effect of alpha-radiolysis on the dissolution of the UO(2) matrix. The work presented is connected to other on-going investigations aiming for better understanding of the behaviour of nuclear fuel exposed to groundwater in a final geological disposal. Two types of alpha-doped pellets were fabricated and characterized. Pellets consisting of UO(2) doped with 10 and 0.1 wt % {238}Pu were used to simulate the alpha-radiation field of different types of commercial LWR spent fuel at different storage times. Un-doped UO(2) pellets were used as reference. The results of the static leaching experiments in de-ionized water at room temperature showed higher fractions of the uranium in solution in the alpha-doped materials compared with un-doped UO(2). In the materials doped with {238}Pu high concentration of plutonium was detected in the solution after 6800 hours of leaching. Surface characterization of these materials performed by X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) was applied to study the behaviour during the leaching experiments carried out under non-aerated conditions. The evolution of the oxidation of uranium from U(IV) to U(VI) could be followed during the leaching by the de-convolution of the 4f(7/7) uranium peak. Formation of a thin layer of U(VI) was observed on the materials doped with 10 wr % {238}Pu at longer leaching time.

Additional information

Authors: COBOS J, CIEMAT, Madrid (ES);HAVELA L, Charles University, Prague (CZ);RONDINELLA VV ET AL, JRC, Institute for Transuranium Elements, Karlsruhe (DE);DE PABLO J, UPC, Departamento de Ingener?a de Ingenier?a Qu?mica, Barcelona (ES)
Bibliographic Reference: An oral report given at: The 8th International Conference on Chemistry and Migration Behaviour of Actinides and Fission Products in the Geosphere. Held in: Bregenz (AT), 16-21 September 2001
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