Synthèse et caractérisation d'oxydes mixtes d'uranium et d'américium

Abstract : Americium isotopes represent a significant part of high-level and long-lived nuclear waste in spent fuels. Among the envisaged reprocessing scenarios, their transmutation in fast neutron reactors using uranium-americium mixed-oxide pellets (U1-xAmxO2±δ) is a promising option which would help decrease the ecological footprint of ultimate waste repository sites. In this context, this thesis is dedicated to the study of such compounds over a wide range of americium contents (7.5 at.% ≤ Am/(U+Am) ≤ 70 at.%), with an emphasis on their fabrication from single-oxide precursors and the assessment of their structural and thermodynamic stabilities, also taking self-irradiation effects into account. Results highlight the main influence of americium reduction to Am+III, not only on the mechanisms of solid-state formation of the U1-xAmxO2±δ solid solution, but also on the stabilization of oxidized uranium cations and the formation of defects in the oxygen sublattice such as vacancies and cuboctahedral clusters. In addition, the data acquired concerning the stability of U1-xAmxO2±δ compounds (existence of a miscibility gap, vaporization behavior) were compared to calculations based on new thermodynamic modelling of the U-Am-O ternary system. Finally, α-self-irradiation-induced structural effects on U1-xAmxO2±δ compounds were analyzed using XRD, XAS and TEM, allowing the influence of americium content on the structural swelling to be studied as well as the description of the evolution of radiation-induced structural defects.
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Florent Lebreton. Synthèse et caractérisation d'oxydes mixtes d'uranium et d'américium. Autre. Université de Limoges, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014LIMO0009⟩. ⟨tel-01127208⟩

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