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Title: Impeding 99Tc(IV) mobility in novel waste forms

Technetium (99Tc) is a long-lived radioactive fission product whose mobility in the subsurface is largely governed by its oxidation state1. Immobilization of Tc in mineral substrates is crucial for radioactive waste management and environmental remediation. Tc(IV) incorporation in spinels2, 3 has been proposed as a novel method to increase Tc retention in glass waste forms. However, experiments with Tc-magnetite under high temperature and oxic conditions showed re-oxidation of Tc(IV) to volatile pertechnetate Tc(VII)O4-.4, 5 Here we address this problem with large-scale ab initio molecular dynamics simulations and propose that elevated temperatures, 1st row transition metal dopants can significantly enhance Tc retention in the order Co > Zn > Ni. Experiments with doped spinels at T=700 ºC provided quantitative confirmation of increased Tc retention in the same order predicted by theory. This work highlights the power of modern state-of-the-art simulations to provide essential insights and generate bottom-up design criteria of complex oxide materials at elevated temperatures.
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Journal Article
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Journal Name: Nature Communications, 7:Article No. 12067
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
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Country of Publication:
United States