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An Investigation on the Persistence of Uranium Hydride during Storage of Simulant Nuclear Waste Packages

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0132284 DOI Help
PMID: 26176551 PMID Help

Authors: C. A. Stitt (Interface Analysis Centre, University of Bristol) , N Harker (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF)) , K Hallam (University of Bristol) , C Paraskevoulakos (University of Bristol) , A Banos (University of Bristol) , S Rennie (University of Bristol) , J. Jowsey (Sellafield Ltd) , T. B. Scott (Interface Analysis Centre, University of Bristol)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Plos One , VOL 10 (7)

State: Published (Approved)
Published: July 2015
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 9127 , 10569

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Synchrotron X-rays have been used to study the oxidation of uranium and uranium hydride when encapsulated in grout and stored in de-ionised water for 10 months. Periodic synchrotron X-ray tomography and X-ray powder diffraction have allowed measurement and identification of the arising corrosion products and the rates of corrosion. The oxidation rates of the uranium metal and uranium hydride were slower than empirically derived rates previously reported for each reactant in an anoxic water system, but without encapsulation in grout. This was attributed to the grout acting as a physical barrier limiting the access of oxidising species to the uranium surface. Uranium hydride was observed to persist throughout the 10 month storage period and industrial consequences of this observed persistence are discussed.

Journal Keywords: Hydrides; Corrosion; Oxidation; Tomography; Hydrogen; Blisters; Ponds

Subject Areas: Biology and Bio-materials

Instruments: I12-JEEP: Joint Engineering, Environmental and Processing