Wednesday, June 20, 2007 - 9:00 AM
The Summit (Boise Centre on the Grove)

Radiation Tolerance in Structurally Related Oxides

Blas Pedro Uberuaga, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM

The Department of Energy's Global Nuclear Energy Partnership (GNEP) is working towards the goal of a closed nuclear fuel cycle. An integral part of such a fuel cycle is a waste management strategy, which must be in place shortly after the start of spent fuel reprocessing. A primary obstacle in the development of such a strategy is the lack of a sufficiently robust waste form compound. Ceramics destined for use in hostile environments such as nuclear reactors or waste immobilization must be highly durable and especially resistant to radiation damage effects. In particular, they must not be prone to amorphization or swelling. Few ceramics meet these criteria and much work has been devoted in recent years to identifying radiation-tolerant ceramics and the atomic-scale characteristics that promote radiation tolerance. Here, we examine trends in radiation damage behaviour for families of compounds related by crystal structure. Specifically, we consider oxides with structures related to fluorite. We demonstrate that improved amorphization resistance characteristics are found in compounds that have a natural tendency to accommodate lattice disorder.