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Synthesis and Characterization of Cubic Zirconia, (Zr,Gd,Pu)O2, Doped with 238Pu

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  21 March 2011

Boris E. Burakov
Affiliation:
V.G.Khlopin Radium Institute, 28, 2-nd Murinskiy ave., St.Petersburg, 194021, Russia, fax: (7)-(812)-346-1129; burakov@riand.spb.su
Evgeniy B. anderson
Affiliation:
V.G.Khlopin Radium Institute, 28, 2-nd Murinskiy ave., St.Petersburg, 194021, Russia, fax: (7)-(812)-346-1129; burakov@riand.spb.su
Maria V. Zamoryanskaya
Affiliation:
V.G.Khlopin Radium Institute, 28, 2-nd Murinskiy ave., St.Petersburg, 194021, Russia, fax: (7)-(812)-346-1129; burakov@riand.spb.su
Maria A. Yagovkina
Affiliation:
V.G.Khlopin Radium Institute, 28, 2-nd Murinskiy ave., St.Petersburg, 194021, Russia, fax: (7)-(812)-346-1129; burakov@riand.spb.su
Elena V. Nikolaeva
Affiliation:
V.G.Khlopin Radium Institute, 28, 2-nd Murinskiy ave., St.Petersburg, 194021, Russia, fax: (7)-(812)-346-1129; burakov@riand.spb.su
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Abstract

Crystalline ceramic materials based on the cubic zirconia structure have been proposed as candidate waste forms for the immobilization of weapons grade Pu and other actinides. To evaluate a resistance of these materials to self-irradiation for extended period of time, polycrystalline samples of gadolinia-stabilized cubic zirconia, (Zr,Gd,Pu)O2, doped with approximately 10 wt.% 238Pu were synthesized and characterized. Ceramic synthesis was done by sintering in air at 1500°C for 4 hours using starting precursor materials based on coprecipitated and then calcined oxalates of Zr, Gd, Pu. No differences were observed among the zirconia X-ray diffraction patterns that were obtained immediately after ceramic synthesis, or at 88 and 201 days later. MCC-1 leach tests were performed on ceramic specimens in deionized water at 90°C for 28 days. It was found that without correction for ceramic porosity the initial Pu mass loss (NL) was 0.04 g/m2. This increased to 0.35 and 0.37 g/m2, respectively, 180 and 260 days later. Results obtained allow us to confirm that actinide-doped cubic zirconia is highly resistant to accelerated self-irradiation and therefore, is an efficient material for actinide immobilization in deep geological repositories.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2002

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Synthesis and Characterization of Cubic Zirconia, (Zr,Gd,Pu)O2, Doped with 238Pu
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