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Synthesis of Actinide-Doped Ceramics: from Laboratory Experiments to Industrial Scale Technology

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 February 2011

Alexander A. Kitsay
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Applied Mineralogy and Radiogeochemistry, the V.G. Khlopin Radium Institute, 28, 2-nd Murinskiy ave., St. Petersburg, 194021, Russia, fax: +7–812–346–1129
Vladimir M. Garbuzov
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Applied Mineralogy and Radiogeochemistry, the V.G. Khlopin Radium Institute, 28, 2-nd Murinskiy ave., St. Petersburg, 194021, Russia, fax: +7–812–346–1129
Boris E. Burakov
Affiliation:
Laboratory of Applied Mineralogy and Radiogeochemistry, the V.G. Khlopin Radium Institute, 28, 2-nd Murinskiy ave., St. Petersburg, 194021, Russia, fax: +7–812–346–1129
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Abstract

The experience of the Laboratory of Applied Mineralogy and Radiogeochemistry of the V.G.Khlopin Radium Institute on synthesis of Pu-Am-doped ceramics is summarized. During the last 5 years, dozens of actinide doped polycrystalline samples and single crystals have been successfully synthesized such as zircon, hafnon, cubic zirconia, monazite, Ti-pyrochlore, perovskite and garnet. Actinide loading has been varied as follows:

-239Pu - from 5–6 wt.% in zircon (polycrystalline and single crystals), hafnon, garnet and perovskite to 10 wt.% in Ti-pyrochlore and up to 37 wt.% in zirconia;

- 238Pu - from 2.5 wt.% in zircon single crystals to 5 wt. % in polycrystalline zircon and 10 wt.% in monazite and cubic zirconia;

- 243Am - 20–23 wt.% in cubic zirconia and monazite.

The weight of each single ceramic pellet varied from 0.2 to 2.0 grams. Special furnaces developed in KRI for ceramic synthesis allowed obtaining up to 7 ceramic pellets simultaneously during the same experiment. The highest amounts of actinides used under glove-box conditions in the same experiment were: 1.5–2.0 g for 239Pu, 0.6 g for 238Pu and 0.3 g for 243Am. Most experiments on synthesis of ceramics and single crystals doped with 239Pu, 238Pu and 243Am carried out at the KRI did not lead to contamination of internal walls of glove boxes. No release of Pu-Am-aerosols was observed as a result of sintering or melting at 1300–1600°C. These results allowed us to conclude that at the present the KRI has developed the experimental basis for transferring laboratory innovations to the industry of actinide immobilization. It is important that adopting ceramic synthesis methods at industrial scale does not require development of new special equipment.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Materials Research Society 2004

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References

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