In this work, we studied the effect of β radiation (Sr90 source with an activity of 7 mCi) on the dissolution of non irradiated UO2, as a chemicalanalogue of the spent nuclear fuel, in different leaching solutions.
The experiments were carried out using a specifically designed continuous flow-through reactor and in nitrogen atmosphere to avoid oxygen contamination. The solid used was a non irradiated uranium dioxide with a particle size of 100–320 μm, which specific surface are was determined by the BET method. The experiments were carried out in NaCl media at different pH values. Both pH and redox potential of the solutions were continuously monitored. In all the cases, blank experiments were performed in parallel.
Dissolution rates obtained under the effect of β radiation were compared with dissolution rates determined in the presence of hydrogen peroxide (the main oxidizing species radiolitically formed by the β radiation according to the CHEMSIMUL code) and with electrochemically determined UO2 corrosion rates found in the literature.