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High temperature X-ray diffraction study of the oxidation products and kinetics of uranium-plutonium mixed oxides


, : High temperature X-ray diffraction study of the oxidation products and kinetics of uranium-plutonium mixed oxides. Inorganic Chemistry 53(24): 12757-12766

The oxidation products and kinetics of two sets of mixed uranium-plutonium dioxides containing 14%, 24%, 35%, 46%, 54%, and 62% plutonium treated in air were studied by means of in situ X-ray diffraction (XRD) from 300 to 1773 K every 100 K. The first set consisted of samples annealed 2 weeks before performing the experiments. The second one consisted of powdered samples that sustained self-irradiation damage. Results were compared with chosen literature data and kinetic models established for UO2. The obtained diffraction patterns were used to determine the temperature of the hexagonal M3O8 (M for metal) phase formation, which was found to increase with Pu content. The maximum observed amount of the hexagonal phase in wt % was found to decrease with Pu addition. We conclude that plutonium stabilizes the cubic phases during oxidation, but the hexagonal phase was observed even for the compositions with 62 mol % Pu. The results indicate that self-irradiation defects have a slight impact on the kinetics of oxidation and the lattice parameter even after the phase transformation. It was concluded that the lattice constant of the high oxygen phase was unaffected by the changes in the overall O/M when it was in equilibrium with small quantities of M3O8. We propose that the observed changes in the high oxygen cubic phase lattice parameter are a result of either cation migration or an increase in the miscibility of oxygen in this phase. The solubility of Pu in the hexagonal phase was estimated to be below 14 mol % even at elevated temperatures.

US$19.90

PMID: 25412433

DOI: 10.1021/ic501580x


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