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Ceramic Immobilization Options for Technetium

  • Martin C. Stennett (a1), Tae-Hyuk Lee (a1) (a2), Daniel J. Bailey (a1), Erik V. Johnstone (a1), Jong Heo (a2) and Neil C. Hyatt (a1)...

Abstract

Long half-life biologically active fission products, such as technetium-99, present particular problems for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel (SNF). Technetium is present in relatively high concentrations in fuel (approx. 1kg tonne-1 SNF) and has very high mobility in oxidizing environments. Technetium is therefore generally removed from SNF either by solvent extraction and reduction, during the PUREX process, or by sorption via ion exchange processes. Historically technetium has been disposed of via dilution and dispersion in the sea but stringent regulations now mean that the preferred long term option is immobilization in a highly stable and durable matrix. In this contribution we have looked at the synthesis of fluorite derivative crystalline host phases based on the zirconolite structure. Samples have been characterised by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive spectroscopy (EDX), thermo-gravimetric analysis (TG), and mass spectroscopy (MS). We have used Mo as an inactive surrogate for Tc.

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