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Plutonium incorporation in phosphate and titanate ceramics for minor actinide containment

Deschanels, X.; Picot, V.; Glorieux, B.; Jorion, F.; Peuget, S.; Roudil, D.; Jegou, C.; Broudic, V.; Cachia, J. N.; Advocat, T.; Den Auwer, C.; Fillet, C.; Coutures, J. P.; Hennig, C.; Scheinost, A.
Two ceramics, zirconolite and a monazite-brabantite solid solution (MBss) were studied for the immobilization of minor actinides (Np, Am, Cm) produced by reprocessing spent fuel. Monoclinic zirconolite (CaZrTi2O7) is a fluorite derivative structure and is the primary actinide host phase in Synroc (a titanate composite). Monazite (LnPO(4), where Ln = La, Ce, Nd, Gd, etc.) is a monoclinic orthophosphate containing trivalent cations, and brabantite (Ca(0.5)An(0.5)PO(4)) is ail isostructural monazite compound containing tetravalent cations (An = Th and U). The nominal composition of the ceramics studied in this work is (Ca0.87Pu0.13)Zr(Al0.26Ti1.74)O-7 for zirconolite and (Ca0.09Pu0.09La0.73Th0.09)PO4 for the monazite-brabantite solid solution. These formulas correspond to 10 wt% PuO2 loading ill each material. XANES spectroscopy showed that the plutonium is tetravalent in zirconolite and trivalent in MBss. Thorium, another tetravalent cation, call be incorporated at 10 wt% ThO2 in MBss. Aluminum and calcium balance the excess cationic charge resulting from the incorporation of Pu(IV) in zirconolite and Th(IV) in brabantite, respectively. The relative density of the pellets exceeded 90% of theoretical density. The samples exhibited a homogeneous microstructure even if some minor phases. representing less than 2% of the surface area, were detected. The two ceramics are compared in terms of actinide loading, and preliminary results on their long-term behavior are discussed. (c) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
  • Journal of Nuclear Materials 352(2006)1-3, 233-240


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Publ.-Id: 9087