Radiation-Induced Decomposition of U(VI) Alteration Phases of UO{sub 2}

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U{sup 6+} phases are common alteration products of spent nuclear fuel under oxidizing conditions, and they may potentially incorporate actinides, such as long-lived {sup 239}Pu and {sup 237}Np, delaying their transport to the biosphere. In order to evaluate the ballistic effects of {alpha}-decay events on the stability of the U{sup 6+}-phases, they report, for the first time, the results of ion beam irradiations (1.0 MeV Kr{sup 2+}) for six different structures of U{sup 6+}-phases: uranophane, kasolite, boltwoodite, saleeite, carnotite, and liebigite. The target uranyl-minerals were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction and identification confirmed by SAED in TEM. The TEM observation ... continued below

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Utsunomiya, S. & Ewing, R.C. March 31, 2005.

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U{sup 6+} phases are common alteration products of spent nuclear fuel under oxidizing conditions, and they may potentially incorporate actinides, such as long-lived {sup 239}Pu and {sup 237}Np, delaying their transport to the biosphere. In order to evaluate the ballistic effects of {alpha}-decay events on the stability of the U{sup 6+}-phases, they report, for the first time, the results of ion beam irradiations (1.0 MeV Kr{sup 2+}) for six different structures of U{sup 6+}-phases: uranophane, kasolite, boltwoodite, saleeite, carnotite, and liebigite. The target uranyl-minerals were characterized by powder X-ray diffraction and identification confirmed by SAED in TEM. The TEM observation revealed no initial contamination of uraninite in these U{sup 6+} phases. All of the samples were irradiated with in situ TEM observation using 1.0 MeV Kr{sup 2+} in the IVEM (intermediate-voltage electron microscope) at the IVEM-Tandem Facility of Argonne National Laboratory. The ion flux was 6.3 x 10{sup 11} ions/cm{sup 2}/sec. The specimen temperatures during irradiation were 298 and 673 K, respectively. The Kr{sup 2+}-irradiation decomposed the U{sup 6+}-phases to nanocrystals of UO{sub 2} at doses as low as 0.006 dpa. The cumulative doses for the pure U{sup 6+}-phases, e.g., uranophane, at 0.1 and 1 m.y. are calculated to be 0.009 and 0.09 dpa using SRIM2003. However, with the incorporation of 1 wt.% {sup 239}Pu, the calculated doses reach 0.27 and {approx} 1.00 dpa in ten thousand and one hundred thousand years, respectively. Under oxidizing conditions, multiple cycles of radiation-induced decomposition to UO{sub 2} followed by alteration to U{sup 6}-phases should be further investigated to determine the fate of trace elements that may have been incorporated in the U{sup 6+}-phases.

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1 pages

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INIS; OSTI as DE00840167

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  • Other Information: PBD: 31 Mar 2005

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  • Report No.: NONE
  • Grant Number: NONE
  • DOI: 10.2172/840167 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 840167
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc778891

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  • March 31, 2005

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  • Dec. 3, 2015, 9:30 a.m.

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  • Feb. 11, 2016, 12:08 p.m.

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Utsunomiya, S. & Ewing, R.C. Radiation-Induced Decomposition of U(VI) Alteration Phases of UO{sub 2}, report, March 31, 2005; Las Vegas, Nevada. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc778891/: accessed August 23, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.