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Irradiation effects of synthetic coffinite (USiO4) studied by in-situ TEM

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 February 2011

J.M. Zhang
Affiliation:
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
F. Y. Lu
Affiliation:
Department of Mechanical, Aerospace & Nuclear Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180
V. Pointeau
Affiliation:
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
F. X. Zhang
Affiliation:
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
M. Lang
Affiliation:
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
C. Poinssot
Affiliation:
Nuclear Energy Division, Department of Radiochemistry and Processes, Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique – CEA Marcoule, 30200 Bagnols-Sur-Ceze Cedex
J. Lian
Affiliation:
Department of Mechanical, Aerospace & Nuclear Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180
R. C. Ewing
Affiliation:
Department of Geological Sciences, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109
Corresponding
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Abstract

Coffinite (USiO4, I41/amd, Z=4) is the major alteration phase of uraninite, UO2+x, under reducing conditions in natural uranium deposits. Thus, it is important to understand the radiation response of coffinite because it is an expected alteration product of the UO2 in spent nuclear fuel. In the present study, we conducted in-situ transmission electron microscopy (TEM) investigation of synthetic coffinite under 1 MeV-Kr2+ ion beam irradiation. The radiation-induced crystalline-to-amorphous transformation was observed in the synthetic nanocrystalline USiO4, with a critical dose of ∼ 0.27 displacements per atoms (dpa) for which full amorphization occurred at room temperature. The critical dose increases as rising irradiation temperature, and above the critical temperature (T c), ∼ 608 K, coffinite cannot be amorphized. These results are compared with previous studies on the isostructural zircon (ZrSiO4, T c=1000K) and thorite (ThSiO4, T c>1100K), which indicates that synthetic coffinite is more stable to ion beam irradiation at elevated temperature.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2009

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References

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