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Basic Actinide Research


Specific Objectives:
Solid-state Chemistry of Actinides and Compounds
1. Synthesis and characterisation of intermetallic transuranium compounds (priority: AnTX5 compounds)
2. Preparation of Pu-(Am) materials for self-irradiation damage studies
3. Single crystal growth of selected actinide compounds
4. Samples encapsulation for internal and external facilities
5. Commissioning of high-temperature X-ray facility
6. Renewal of SC-growth mineralisation facility
7. Feasibility study for the development, installation and commissioning of a Czochralski-SC growth Tri-arc system
8. Purchase and installation of a Differential Thermal analysis facility + testing phase Solid-state Physics of Actinides and Compounds
9. Physical property measurements of Pu-superconductor compounds
10. Magnetic measurements
11. Mössbauer spectroscopy of Np-compounds and alloys
12. Specific heat measurements
13. Electrical resistivity measurements
14. Scattering experiments making use of large scale facilities
15. Investigation of Actinide compounds under high-pressure
16. Installation and commissioning of High-Pressure X-ray diffraction facility
17. Development of HP-resistivity measurements as a function of magnetic applied field
18. Determination of the resistivity of Actinide elements under pressure
19. Self-consistent electronic structure calculations
20. Theory of magnetism and structure of actinides and compounds Surface Science and Interface Phenomena
21. Preparation and study of Am carbides and oxycarbides
22. Preparation and study of Pu carbides and oxycarbides
23. Preparation and study of Pu systems by codeposition (Au, Sb)
24. Study of the magnetic and transport properties of An films (UFex)
25. LEED and PES studies of U/single crystalline substrates (Pd)
26. Investigation of the electrochemistry of UO2 by EQCMB
27. Study of the Pd doped UO2 layer: leaching and electrochemistry
28. Preparation of simple U multilayer films (U/Co)
29. Development of multitarget sputter source
30. Prepare Commissioning of OMICRON machine Solution chemistry of Actinides
31. Synthesis of Ln/An BTP-complexes
32. Synthesis of Ln BPz-complexes
33. Elementary analysis of chemical BTP-Bpz complexes
34. Characterisation by IR/FIR-spectroscopy, UV/Vis-spectroscopy, X-ray structures and magnetic properties
35. Commissioning of IR/FIR-spectroscopy facility
36. Proactinium separation chemistry for mg scale quantities
37. Feasibility study of micro-chip laboratory applied to micro-analysis of radioactive solutions
38. Determination of fundamental electrochemical data of actinides in molten salts (Redox potential of MA)
39. Modeling of diffusion phenomena of An in molten salts Basic Properties of Actinide Materials
40. Development of fabrication route and fabrication of PuZrN
41. Crystal structure and thermochemical properties of PuZrN
42. Modeling and measuremnet of melting point and heat capacity of a molten salt system
43. Critical evaluation of literature thermochemical data
44. Further development of Thermodynamics and H-T-P properties of Actinide Materials
45. Start of operation of TOF
46. EMF measurements on MOX
47. EMF measurements on IMF
48. Vapor pressure measurements of actinides
49. Implementation of a standard calibration method for release of rare gases in KC experiments
50. Influence of oxygen potential on the effusion behaviour of fuels
51. Melting point measurements on medium and high burnup LWR fuel and corium
52. Assessment of high temperature data (above the melting point) of UO2x based on combined: theoretical and experimental studies on the equation of state
53. High temperature phase diagram of the UO2/ZrO2 system (continuing studies)
54. Study of the effect of stoichiometry on UO2 melting
55. Thermal stability of nitrides at high temperatures (starting)
56. High temperature phase diagram of the PuO2/ZrO2 system
57. Thermal conductivity of Zr-based IM at high temperatures
58. Equation of state of UO2 Actinide Facility and Training Centre
59. Organisation and delivery of Actinide Summer School 2003
60. Organisation of Journées des Actinides 2004 Anticipated milestones and schedule.
Planned Deliverables:
Solid-state Chemistry of Actinides and Compounds:
1. About 30 samples prepared, characterized and encapsulated for internal/external collaborations;
2. 1-4 Publications in peer-reviewed journals (3);
3. 1-4 Publications in conference proceedings and conference contributions (4 including Journées des Actinides 2003);
4. 1-4 Targeted networking/network of excellence (through scientific collaboration i.e. 5 publications and/or conference contributions);
5. High-Temperature X-ray facility available for characterisation transuranium samples;
6. Renewed mineralisation power supply;
7. Feasibility report on tri-arc Czochralski facility for actinide compounds;
8. Installation and testing (inactive) of DTA Solid-state Physics of Actinides and Compounds;
9. 9 - 20 Publications in peer reviewed journals (9) and conference proceedings (6);
10. Magnetic measurements (10 samples);
11. Mössbauer spectroscopy (10 samples);
12. Cp measurements (10 samples);
13. Resistivity measurements (10 samples);
14. Scattering measurements (5 samples);
15. HP measurements (8 samples including use of large facilities);
16. HP-X-ray facility installed and ready for inactive testing period;
17. Magneto-resistance measurements available for active samples;
18. Resistivity measurements High-pressure/low temperature available for active samples;
19. 19-20 Publications in peer reviewed journals (3) and conference proceedings (2);
20. 10-20 Targeted networking/network of excellence (through scientific collaboration i.e. 10 publications and/or conference contributions) Surface Science and Interface Phenomena;
21. Publication peer reviewed journal;
22. Publication Proceedings conference;
23. Publication peer reviewed journal;
24. Evaluation of feasibility of measuring magnetic and transport properties of a prototype An film;
25. Knowledge of the electronic structure in a prototype ordered An overlayer;
26. Publication proceedings conference;
27. Publication peer reviewed journal;
28. Instrumentation and procedure for preparing actinide multiplayer;
29. Novel sputter source for doped films and multiplayer;
30. Feasibility information of OMICRON machine Solution chemistry of Actinides;
31. 30-34 : Synthesis and characterisation of BTP-complexes Ln, An;
32. 30-34 : Synthesis and characterisation of BPz-complexes Ln;
33. 31-36 :Publication in peer reviewed journals (1);
34. 31-36 : Publications in conference proceedings (1);
35. IR/FIR-spectroscopy facility for TU samples;
36. mg batch of 231Pa pure isotope;
37. Feasibility statement on micro-chip laboratory applied to micro- analysis of radioactive solutions;
38. Redox potential of actinides (Pu + Ln) in higher ionic media;
39. Diffusion coeff, of Am, Cm and Ln Basic Properties of Actinide Materials;
40. Scientific publication;
41. Internal report;
42. Presentation at Conference;
43. Material property data on internet for PuZrN;
44. Extended version of Thermodynamics and H-T-P properties of Actinide Materials;
45. 1 J. paper on He and FG, P release of MOX;
46. 1 J. paper on release-vaporization of irradiated UO2 vs. oxidation state;
47. First KC measurement on simulated and irradiated fuel during on line oxidation;
48. 1 Ph.D. Thesis (P. Damen);
49. development of a KC calibration method for gases;
50. 1 J. paper on Ln vaporization from irradiated fuels;
51. 1 J. paper on vapor pressure of Cm above Cm2O3, and irradiated fuels
52. first measures of the vapor pressure of UO2x, in the laser-TOF system
53. finalization and calibration of the glove box chain for nuclear samples conditioning
54. Installation of the new EMF system in glove box, calibration and first measurements on nuclear materials
55. 1 PhD thesis (D. Manara);
56. 56-57: 1 J. paper, 1 conference on Tm of different nuclear materials, pressure effect and stability;
57. Thermal radiative properties of ZrO2-based materials, finalization of techniques and installation;
58. 1 publication on equation of state of UO2 Actinide Facility and Training Centre;
59. Actinide Summer School 2003 60. First call Journées des Actinides 2004.
Summary of the Action:
The objective of the work is to carry out experimental and theoretical studies of the solid state, materials science and physico-chemical properties of actinide elements, alloys and compounds, elucidating their electronic structure and its effect on their behaviour under conditions of technological relevance. To collect and evaluate data on properties and applications of transuranium elements. To develop and validate new methods/equipment for the analysis of actinides in alloys, compounds, fresh and irradiated fuel. To serve as a 'user laboratory' for scientists from laboratories and universities and to provide, where possible, encapsulated samples for external investigations. To serve as a training laboratory for students or young scientists from those countries of the European Union where such facilities do not exist. Rationale Basic actinide research aims at advancing, in the frame of EURATOM programme, the basic knowledge for supporting nuclear activities.

Indeed, any technological problem solving or improvement process requires a thorough understanding of the basic phenomena. Typically an evolution from macroscopic to meso- and microscopic investigation is required and a coupling between the different disciplines and scales of research within one institute is of vital importance. A good knowledge of fundamental physical, chemical and material science data on actinides and actinide-containing products is necessary in support to EU policies dealing with nuclear fuels, nuclear waste or nuclear safeguards. ITU scientists aim at developing a profound understanding of these properties, including the electronic structure, equation of state and phase diagrams, solution chemistry, interface and surface phenomena of actinides and actinide compounds.

Funding Scheme

JRC - Joint Research Centre research


Institute for Transuranium Elements
Po Box 2340
D-76125 Karlsruhe