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Title: Epsilon Metal Waste Form for Immobilization of Noble Metals from Used Nuclear Fuel

Epsilon metal (ε-metal), an alloy of Mo, Pd, Rh, Ru, and Tc, is being developed as a waste form to treat and immobilize the undissolved solids and dissolved noble metals from aqueous reprocessing of commercial used nuclear fuel. Epsilon metal is an attractive waste form for several reasons: increased durability relative to borosilicate glass, it can be fabricated without additives (100% waste loading), and in addition it also benefits borosilicate glass waste loading by eliminating noble metals from the glass and thus the processing problems related there insolubility in glass. This work focused on the processing aspects of the epsilon metal waste form development. Epsilon metal is comprised of refractory metals resulting in high reaction temperatures to form the alloy, expected to be 1500 - 2000°C making it a non-trivial phase to fabricate by traditional methods. Three commercially available advanced technologies were identified: spark-plasma sintering, microwave sintering, and hot isostatic pressing, and investigated as potential methods to fabricate this waste form. Results of these investigations are reported and compared in terms of bulk density, phase assemblage (X-ray diffraction and elemental analysis), and microstructure (scanning electron microscopy).
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
Journal ID: ISSN 0022-3115; AF5805010; TRN: US1400377
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Nuclear Materials; Journal Volume: 441; Journal Issue: 1-3
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
Country of Publication:
United States
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS nuclear waste forms; undissolved solids; spark-plasma sintering; microwave sintering; ; TECHNETIUM; HOT PRESSING