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XPS Investigation on Changes in UO2 Speciation following Exposure to Humidity

  • Scott B. Donald (a1), M. Lee Davisson (a1) and Art J. Nelson (a1)


High purity UO2 powder samples were subjected to accelerated aging under controlled conditions with relative humidity ranging from 34% to 98%. Characterization of the chemical speciation of the products was accomplished using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS). A shift to higher uranium oxidation states was found to be directly correlated to increased relative humidity exposure. Additionally, the relative abundance of O2-, OH-, and H2O was found to vary with exposure time. Thus, it is expected that uranium oxide materials exposed to high relative humidity conditions during processing and storage would display a similar increase in average uranium valence.


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