Etude de l'altération de la matrice (U,Pu)O2 du combustible irradiéen conditions de stockage géologique : Approche expérimentale et modélisation géochimique

Abstract : To assess the performance of direct disposal of spent fuel in a nuclear waste repository, researches are performed on the long-term behavior of spent fuel (UOx and MOx) under environmental conditions close to those of the French disposal site. The objective of this study is to determine whether the geochemistry of the Callovian-Oxfordian (COx) clay geological formation and the steel overpack corrosion (producing iron and hydrogen) have an impact on the oxidative dissolution of the (U,Pu)O2 matrix under alpha radiolysis of water.Leaching experiments have been performed with UO2 pellets doped with alpha emitters (Pu) and MIMAS MOx fuel (un-irradiated or spent fuel) to study the effect of the COx groundwater and of the presence of metallic iron upon the oxidative dissolution of these materials induced by the radiolysis of water. Results indicate an inhibiting effect of the COx water on the oxidative dissolution. In the presence of iron, two different behaviors are observed. Under alpha irradiation as the one expected in the geological disposal, the alteration of UO2 matrix and MOx fuel is very strongly inhibited because of the consumption of radiolytic oxidative species by iron in solution leading to the precipitation of Fe(III)-hydroxides on the pellets surface. On the contrary, under a strong beta/gamma irradiation field, alteration tracers indicate that the oxidative dissolution goes on and that uranium concentration in solution is controlled by the solubility of UO2(am,hyd). This is explained by the shifting of the redox front from the fuel surface to the bulk solution not protecting the fuel anymore. The developed geochemical (CHESS) and reactive transport (HYTEC) models correctly represent the main results and occurring mechanisms.
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Mélina Odorowski. Etude de l'altération de la matrice (U,Pu)O2 du combustible irradiéen conditions de stockage géologique : Approche expérimentale et modélisation géochimique. Géochimie. Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Mines de Paris, 2015. Français. ⟨NNT : 2015ENMP0057⟩. ⟨tel-01306703⟩

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