Chemically Resistant Alloys for Immobilization of Radioactive Wastes

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Abstract

The possibility of using intermetallic compounds or alloys of actinides with nickel for preparing matrices incorporating radioactive wastes was examined. Such intermetallic compounds or alloys are prepared by electrolytic deposition of a lanthanide or actinide from a melt of its salt in eutectic mixtures of alkali metal chlorides. The process is performed under the conditions when an actinide being reduced reacts with the cathode material to form a layer of an intermetallic compound. Based on the results of the physicochemical studies performed, an electrochemical process was developed for compacting highly radioactive toxic nuclides of Am, Pu, and REE in environmentally safe forms with high chemical, thermal, and radiation resistance: (a) in the form of alloys or intermetallic compounds containing up to 90 wt % radionuclide, with the leaching rate in water of 10−5–10−6 g cm−2 day−1; (b) in the form of layers of alloys or intermetallic compounds of the radionuclides on metal supports, with the radionuclide content of up to 80 wt % and leaching rate in water of ∼10−6–10−7 g cm−2 day−1.

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