January 13, 2023
In-Situ Liquid Cell Transmission Electron Microscopy of Nanoparticles from Spent Nuclear Fuel
AbstractNoble Metal Particles (NMP) that are present in SNF play an important role in the Fuel Matrix Degradation (FMD) Model that is being considered for predicting the release rate of radionuclides from a waste package. Previous characterization of chemically separated NMP from SNF showed that these were well-crystallized nanoparticles containing Mo, Tc, Ru, Rh, and Pd with some evidence of actinides. These same chemically separated particles were re-characterized following 10 years of storage as the separated material in water. Scanning Transmission Electron Microscopy (STEM) analysis revealed that significant alteration had occurred in this material during storage, resulting in the almost complete degradation of the NMP. We hypothesized that radiolytic damaged had occurred in the material. To support these concepts, we synthesized a mixed Ru-Pd nanoparticle and subjected it to irradiation in the electron microscope in an in-situ liquid cell. We demonstrated that intense radiation can lead to the decomposition of these metallic particles.
Published: January 13, 2023