Skip to main content Accessibility help

A preliminary validation study of PuO2 incorporation into zirconolite glass-ceramics

  • Stephanie M. Thornber (a1), Martin C. Stennett (a1), Eric R. Vance (a2), Dorji T. Chavara (a2), Ian Watson (a2), Miodrag Jovanovic (a2), Joel Davis (a2), Daniel Gregg (a2) and Neil C. Hyatt (a1)...


Zirconolite glass-ceramics are being developed as potential wasteforms for the disposition of Pu wastes in the UK. Previous studies utilised a variety of surrogates whilst this work uses both cold-press and sinter and hot isostatic press methods to validate the wasteform with PuO2. A cold press and sinter sample was fabricated as part of a validation study for plutonium incorporation in hot isostatically pressed (HIPed) wasteforms. The results confirmed the cold-press and sinter, achieved successful waste incorporation and a microstructure and phase assemblage that was in agreement with those expected of a HIPed equivalent. A HIP sample was fabricated of the same composition and characterised by SEM and XRD. Results were in agreement with the sintered sample and achieved complete waste incorporation into the glass-ceramic wasteform. These samples have demonstrated successful incorporation of PuO2 into glass-ceramic HIPed wasteforms proposed for processing Pu-based waste-streams in the UK.


Corresponding author

*Corresponding author:


Hide All
[1]Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Conditioning of Plutonium Residues by Hot Isostatic Pressing and Options for packaging and Disposal (pre-conceptual stage) Summary of Assessment Report, 2009.
[2]Scales, C. R., Maddrell, E. R., Hobbs, J., Stephen, R., Moricca, S., Stewart, M. W. A., Building flexibility into the design of a pilot plant for the immobilisation of Pu containing residues and wastes., Brussels, Belgium, 2013.
[3]Hobbs, J.W., Scales, C.R., Maddrell, E.R., Stewart, M.W.A., Moricca, S.A., A programme to immobilise plutonium residues at Sellafield, in: Paper for the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management 53rd Annual Meeting, Orlando, Florida, 2012.
[4]Hyatt, N. C., Plutonium management policy in the United Kingdom: The need for a dual track strategy., Energy Policy. 101 (2017) 303309.
[5]Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, Geological Disposal: Review of Alternative Radioactive Waste Management Options, 2017.
[6]Scales, C.R., Maddrell, E.R., Gawthorpe, N., Begg, B.D., Moricca, S., Day, R.A., Development of a Process for the Immobilisation of Actinide Containing Residues on the Sellafield site, in: ICEM, Scotland, UK, 2005.
[7]Day, R.A., Moricca, S., Stewart, M.W.A., Begg, B.D., Maddrell, E.R., Scales, C.R., Gawthorpe, N., Technical Demonstration of Zirconolite Glass-Ceramics Processed in a Hot Isostatic Press: An Option for Immobilisation of Actinide Containing Residues at Sellafield, in: ICEM, Scotland, UK, 2005.
[8]Thornber, S., Heath, P., Maddrell, E., Stennett, M.C., Hyatt, N.C., Investigation of Processing Parameters for the Consolidation of Actinide Glass-Ceramic Wasteforms by Hot Isostatic Pressing, MRS Advances. (2017) 16. doi:10.1557/adv.2017.219.
[9]Thornber, S.M., Stennett, M.C., Hyatt, N.C., Investigation of Ce incorporation in zirconolite glass-ceramics for UK plutonium disposition, MRS Advances. (2017) 16. doi:10.1557/adv.2017.32.
[10]Begg, B.D., Day, R.A., Brownscombe, A., Structural Effect of Pu Substitutions on the Zr-Site in Zirconolite, MRS Proceedings. 663 (2000). doi:10.1557/PROC-663-259.
[11]Jafar, M., Sengupta, P., Achary, S.N., Tyagi, A.K., Phase Evolution and Microstructural Studies in CaZrTi 2 O 7 -Nd 2 Ti 2 O 7 System, Journal of the American Ceramic Society. 97 (2014) 609616. doi:10.1111/jace.12664.
[12]Meng, C., Ding, X., Li, W., Zhao, J., Yang, H., Phase structure evolution and chemical durability studies of Ce-doped zirconolite–pyrochlore synroc for radioactive waste storage, Journal of Materials Science. 51 (2016) 52075215. doi:10.1007/s10853-016-9822-x.
[13]Coelho, A. A., Cheary, R. W., Smith, K. L., Analysis and Structural Determination of Nd-Substituted Zirconolite-4M, Journal of Solid State Chemistry. 129 (1997) 346359.
[14]Vance, E. R., Lumpkin, G. R., Carter, M. L., Cassidy, D. J., Ball, C. J., Day, R. A., Begg, B. D., Incorporation of Uranium in Zirconolite, Journal of American Ceramics Society. 85 (2002) 18531859.



Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed