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Speciation on the reaction of uranium and zirconium oxides treated under oxidizing and reducing atmospheres

Uehara, Akihiro*; Akiyama, Daisuke*; Ikeda, Atsushi  ; Numako, Chiya*; Terada, Yasuko*; Nitta, Kiyofumi*; Ina, Toshiaki*; Takeda-Homma, Shino*; Kirishima, Akira*; Sato, Nobuaki*

The reaction products were analysed by a combination of powder X-ray diffraction (PXRD) and X-ray absorption spectroscopic measurements of the U L$$_{rm III}$$- and Zr K-edges. Under an oxidizing atmosphere, the formation of U$$_{3}$$O$$_{8}$$ and U$$_{2}$$Zr$$_{5}$$O$$_{15}$$ was observed in equilibrium with UO$$_{2}$$, monoclinic-ZrO$$_{2}$$, and tetragonal-ZrO$$_{2}$$. However, when O$$_{2}$$ gas was purged through the reaction tube during the cooling process to room temperature, pentavalent U in ZrU$$_{2}$$O$$_{7}$$ was produced by the oxidation of solid solution UO$$_{2}$$ formed at $$>$$ 1774 K during the temperature dropped at $$<$$ 1473 K. Under the inert atmosphere, mixed oxides of uranium were found to form at $$>$$ 1673 K due to a low concentration of O$$_{2}$$ impurity with the Ar gas. This study can pave the way for understanding the interaction between the nuclear fuels and the cladding materials in damaged reactors enabling further simulation of possible decontamination procedures.

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Category:Materials Science, Multidisciplinary

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