We studied oxidative dissolution of uranium and zirconium oxide [(U,Zr)O] in aqueous HO solution. The interfacial reaction is essential for anticipating how a (U,Zr)O-based molten fuel may chemically degrade after a severe accident under influence of ionizing radiation. We conducted our experiments with (U,Zr)O powder and quantitated the HO reaction via dissolved U and HO concentrations. The dissolution yield relative to HO consumption was far less for (U,Zr)O compared to that of UO. The reaction kinetics indicates that most of the HO catalytically decomposed to O at the surface of (U,Zr)O. We confirmed the HO catalytic decomposition via O production (quantitative stoichiometric agreement). In addition, post-reaction Raman scattering spectra of the undissolved (U,Zr)O showed no additional peaks (indicating a lack of secondary phase formation). The (U,Zr)O matrix is much more stable than UO against HO-induced oxidative dissolution.
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