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Radiation damage experiments are being performed with pyrochlore and zirconolite in support of the disposition of surplus weapons-ready Pu. Pyrochlore becomes amorphous in approximately 1 year from the alpha recoil damage of ∼ 1018 alphas/g from the decay of 238Pu. The dissolution rate of 238Pu-bearing ceramics increases with increasing radiation damage as measured in a 3 d MCC-1 test at 90°C. Over the same period, zirconolite retains substantial crystallinity albeit with broadened diffraction peaks. The dissolution rate also increases with increasing radiation damage.
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