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Materials 2018, 11(7), 1121; https://doi.org/10.3390/ma11071121

Analysis of the Secondary Phases Formed by Corrosion of U3Si2-Al Research Reactor Fuel Elements in the Presence of Chloride Rich Brines

1
Institute of Geoscience and Geography, Mineralogy & Geochemistry, Martin-Luther University Halle-Wittenberg, Von-Seckendorff-Platz 3, D-06120 Halle (Saale), Germany
2
Institute of Energy and Climate Research, IEK-6 Nuclear Waste Management, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Wilhelm-Johnen-Strasse, D-52425 Jülich, Germany
3
Building and Property Management, Forschungszentrum Jülich GmbH, Wilhelm-Johnen-Strasse, D-52425 Jülich, Germany
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 25 May 2018 / Revised: 27 June 2018 / Accepted: 27 June 2018 / Published: 30 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Materials for Nuclear Waste Immobilization)
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Abstract

Corrosion experiments with non-irradiated U3Si2-Al research reactor fuel samples were carried out in synthetic MgCl2-rich brine to identify and quantify the secondary phases because depending on their composition and on their amount, such compounds can act as a sink for the radionuclide release in final repositories. Within the experimental period of 100 days at 90 °C and anoxic conditions the U3Si2-Al fuel sample was completely disintegrated. The obtained solids were subdivided into different grain size fractions and non-ambient X-ray diffraction (XRD) was applied for their qualitative and quantitative phase analysis. The secondary phases consist of lesukite (aluminum chloro hydrate) and layered double hydroxides (LDH) with varying chemical compositions. Furthermore, iron, residues of non-corroded nuclear fuel (U3Si2), iron oxy hydroxides and chlorides were also observed. In addition to high amorphous contents (>45 wt %) hosting the uranium, the quantitative phase analysis showed, that LDH compounds and lesukite were the major crystalline phases. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and energy dispersive -Xray spectroscopy (EDS) confirmed the results of the XRD analysis. Elemental analysis revealed that U and Al were concentrated in the solids. However, most of the iron, added as Fe(II) aqueous species, remained in solution. View Full-Text
Keywords: research reactor fuel element U3Si2-Al; spent nuclear fuel; corrosion; secondary phases; layered double hydroxides LDH; lesukite research reactor fuel element U3Si2-Al; spent nuclear fuel; corrosion; secondary phases; layered double hydroxides LDH; lesukite
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Neumann, A.; Klinkenberg, M.; Curtius, H. Analysis of the Secondary Phases Formed by Corrosion of U3Si2-Al Research Reactor Fuel Elements in the Presence of Chloride Rich Brines. Materials 2018, 11, 1121.

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