Uranyl peroxide enhanced nuclear fuel corrosion in seawater

Christopher R. Armstrong, May Nyman, Tatiana Shvareva, Ginger E. Sigmon, Peter C. Burns, Alexandra Navrotsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Fukushima-Daiichi nuclear accident brought together compromised irradiated fuel and large amounts of seawater in a high radiation field. Based on newly acquired thermochemical data for a series of uranyl peroxide compounds containing charge-balancing alkali cations, here we show that nanoscale cage clusters containing as many as 60 uranyl ions, bonded through peroxide and hydroxide bridges, are likely to form in solution or as precipitates under such conditions. These species will enhance the corrosion of the damaged fuel and, being thermodynamically stable and kinetically persistent in the absence of peroxide, they can potentially transport uranium over long distances.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1874-1877
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume109
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 7 2012
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Actinide
  • Actinyl peroxide
  • Calorimetry
  • Spent fuel
  • Uranium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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