Title: Micro-analytical uranium isotope and chemical investigations of zircon crystals from the Chernobyl "lava" and their nuclear fuel inclusions
Authors: POEML PHILIPPBURAKOV Boris E.GEISLER T.WALKER CliveGRANGE M.l.NEMCHIN A.a.BERNDT J.FONSECA R.o.c.BOTTOMLEY PaulHASNAOUI Rachid
Citation: JOURNAL OF NUCLEAR MATERIALS vol. 439 p. 51-56
Publisher: ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Publication Year: 2013
JRC N°: JRC73516
ISSN: 0022-3115
URI: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022311513005321
http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC73516
DOI: 10.1016/j.jnucmat.2013.03.031
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: U isotope data measure d on real fragments of the Chernobyl nuclear fuel included in zircon crystals crystallised from the Chernobyl ‘‘lava’’ are presented for the first time. The U isotope data show no anomalies and lie within the expected burnup values for the Chern obyl nuclear fuel. However, the U concentration, the U isotopic composition, and the Ti concentration in the host zircon vary significantly within single crystals as well as between single crystals. Our results indicate that during the time of melt activity temperature and melt composition likely varied consider ably. New melt was formed progressively (and solidified) during the accident that reacted and mixed with pre-existing melt that never fully equilibrated. In such an environment zircon crys tals crystallised at temperat ures below 1250 C, as estimated from thermodynamic considerations along with the observation that the centre of the investigated zircon crystal contains monoclinic ZrO 2 inclusions. Since the zircon crystals crystallised before the silicate melt spread out into the reactor block basement, the flow of the melt into the basement must also have occurred at temperatures below 1250 C.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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