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Provenance of uranium particulate contained within Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant Unit 1 ejecta material

DOI: 10.1038/s41467-019-10937-z DOI Help

Authors: Peter G. Martin (University of Bristol) , Marion Louvel (University of Cambridge) , Silvia Cipiccia (Diamond Light Source; University of Strathclyde) , Christopher P. Jones (University of Bristol) , Darren J. Batey (Diamond Light Source) , Keith R. Hallam (University of Bristol) , Ian A. X. Yang (University of Bristol) , Yukihiko Satou (Japan Atomic Energy Agency) , Christoph Rau (Diamond Light Source) , J. Fred W. Mosselmans (Diamond Light Source) , David Richards (University of Bristol) , Thomas B. Scott (University of Bristol)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Nature Communications , VOL 10 , PAGES 2801

State: Published (Approved)
Published: June 2019
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 16701 , 16702 , 18186

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Here we report the results of multiple analytical techniques on sub-mm particulate material derived from Unit 1 of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant to provide a better understanding of the events that occurred and the environmental legacy. Through combined x-ray fluorescence and absorption contrast micro-focused x-ray tomography, entrapped U particulate are observed to exist around the exterior circumference of the highly porous Si-based particle. Further synchrotron radiation analysis of a number of these entrapped particles shows them to exist as UO2—identical to reactor fuel, with confirmation of their nuclear origin shown via mass spectrometry analysis. While unlikely to represent an environmental or health hazard, such assertions would likely change should break-up of the Si-containing bulk particle occur. However, more important to the long-term decommissioning of the reactors at the FDNPP (and environmental clean-upon), is the knowledge that core integrity of reactor Unit 1 was compromised with nuclear material existing outside of the reactors primary containment.

Journal Keywords: Characterization and analytical techniques; Natural hazards; Nuclear waste

Subject Areas: Materials, Chemistry, Environment


Instruments: I13-1-Coherence , I18-Microfocus Spectroscopy

Documents:
s41467-019-10937-z.pdf