Experiments on the behaviour of ruthenium in air ingress accidents - Progress report
ärkelä , T. , Backman U., Auvinen , A. , Zilliacus , R. , Lipponen , M. , Kekki , Tapper , U. , Jokiniemi , J.
During routine nuclear reactor operation, ruthenium will accumulate in the fuel in relatively high concentrations. In an accident in a nuclear power plant it is possible that air gets into contact with the reactor core. In this case ruthenium can oxidise and form volatile ruthenium species, RuO3 and RuO4, which can be transported into the containment. In order to estimate the amount of gaseous ruthenium species it is of interest to know, how it is formed and how it behaves. In our experiments RuO2 is exposed to diverse oxidising atmospheres at a relatively high temperature.
In this report, the experimental system for the ruthenium behaviour study is presented. Also preliminary results from experiments carried out during year 2005 are reported. In the experiments gaseous ruthenium oxides were produced in a furnace. Upon cooling RuO2 aerosol particles were formed in the system. They were removed with plane filters from the gas stream. Gaseous ruthenium species were trapped in 1M NaOH-water solution, which is capable of trapping RuO4 totally. Ruthenium in the solution was filtered for analysis. The determination of ruthenium both in aerosol and in liquid filters was made using instrumental neutron activation analysis (INAA). In order to close mass balance and achieve better time resolution three experiment using radioactive tracer were carried out.