Plutonium immobilisation

Key outcomes are to underpin and enable immobilization of the plutonium stockpile through: Pu partitioning data, and verified computational models, to guide wasteform design; and new understanding of mechanisms of crystalline to amorphous phase transition in ceramic wasteforms and its potential deleterious effect on dissolution kinetics. Impact will arise through uptake of research by NDA, through integration with our EPSRC / NDA IIKE project, to inform government decision making on stockpile management.

The objectives are 1) to understand the plutonium incorporation mechanisms in ceramic and glass-ceramic wasteforms, for immobilization of the UK plutonium stockpile; and 2) to understand the effect of cation disorder on the crystalline to amorphous phase transition in model ceramic wasteforms for plutonium immobilization. The research will develop the fundamental understanding required to deliver immobilization of the UK Pu stockpile, in terms of formulation design, radiation damage, and dissolution mechanisms. The methodology is novel and ambitious is undertaking a programme of Pu research and utilizing unique national facilities.

Academic Lead: Neil Hyatt
Location: University of Sheffield