Ruthenium behaviour in severe nuclear accident conditions - progress report.
Maija Lipponen, Ulrika Backman, Riitta Zilliacus, Ari Auvinen & Jorma Jokiniemi
In order to prevent the radioactive ruthenium from spreading in gaseous form in case of an accident in a nuclear power plant it is of interest to know how it is formed and how it behaves. In the experiments the behaviour of ruthenium in oxidising atmosphere at high temperatures is studied.
The methods for trapping and analysing RuO4 has been studied. It was found that 1M NaOH is capable of trapping RuO4 totally. The determination of Ru from the solution can be made using ICP-MS (inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry) and from the reduced precipitates on filters by INAA (instrumental neutron activation analysis).
The results of the experiments carried out so far is reported. A significant difference in the decomposition rate of gaseous RuO4 depending on the tube material was found. In all experiments only a minor fraction of Ru remained in gaseous form until the bubbler. In order to achieve a better mass balance an experiment using radioactive tracer was carried out. In the decomposition of gaseous Ru needle-shaped RuO2 crystallites were formed.
Ruthenium; oxidising atmosphere; high temperatures; experiments