Characterisation of high burnup spent mixed oxide fuel after leaching at hyperalkaline pH in a reducing environment

Research outputpeer-review


Microstructural investigations of a Zircaloy-4 clad mixed oxide fuel rod segment with a burnup of 50.3 GWd/tHM after exposure to a synthetic young cementitious water at a hyperalkaline pH of 13.7(2) under reducing atmosphere for about 3.5 years were conducted. A deposit on surfaces exposed to the leachate was observed and attempts were made to identify its composition. Initial scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy results indicate that it contains several leachate constituents, as well as Zr and Ti. The presence of Ti indicates corrosion of the autoclave liner during the leaching experiment. Surfaces which were not directly exposed to the leachate revealed additional features, such as distinct ε-particles. Remarkably, these could not be identified on surfaces exposed to the leachate, which may indicate that dissolution of the ε-particles took place as well. Graphical abstract: (Figure presented.).

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
JournalMRS Advances
StatePublished - 23 Feb 2024


Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL. Open Access funding enabled by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation)—491111487, and organised by the project DEAL.

FundersFunder number
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft491111487

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General Materials Science
    • Condensed Matter Physics
    • Mechanics of Materials
    • Mechanical Engineering

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