New corrosion research from the University of Bristol and Sellafield

A new paper has been released examining uranium corrosion and nuclear waste storage between the University of Bristol and Sellafield Ltd.

These two institutions are long-standing collaborators on nuclear materials research to support the safe handling, treatment, storage and permanent disposal of radioactive waste in the UK.

The paper is entitled Corrosion of uranium in liquid water under contained conditions with a headspace argon overpressure. The ternary U + H2O(l) + Ar(g) system and has been published in the Journal of Nuclear Materials, Volume 535, July 2020. It was made available Open Access on 28 April 2020.

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The main finding of this paper is that uranium-hydride (UH3) formation will occur under contained aqueous water storage conditions and its formation will be facilitated by residual argon gas overpressure (> 500 mbar). 'Wet' bulk-UH3 formation was not previously expected to occur by the industry.

Representative cross-sectional cuts into the corroded surface of each reacted sample.


This research was funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Sellafield Ltd as part of a PhD research studentship at the Interface Analysis Centre, School of Physics, University of Bristol.


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