The Updated Model of Microstructure Evolution of Lava-Like Fuel-Containing Materials of 4th Block of Chornobyl NPP. Brown Ceramics
Keywords:lava-like fuel-containing materials, evolution model, microstructure, physical and chemical processes, forecast, methodological and technological approaches, New Safe Confinement, oxidation, radiation-stimulated phase formation, crystallization
The model of microstructure evolution of lava-like fuel-containing materials (LFCM) in Unit 4 of the Chornobyl NPP has been updated by an example of brown ceramics. It was confirmed that the behavior of the LFCM is not only governed by a single or a few physical and chemical processes, but also by their interrelation and mutual influence. The list of physical and chemical processes taking place in the LFCM was supplemented with two new ones. The influence of another, previously known process on the LFCM behavior was clarified, and new stages of microstructure evolution are added. The durations of the known evolution stages are refined and those of new stages were determined. The state and behavior of the LFCM were forecast. In particular, there will be no destruction of the LFCM shortly soon, but in the long run, they will be destroyed. The time required for the destruction of the LFCM and the size of particles obtained after the glass phase will have destroyed are evaluated. All inclusions of uranium oxides will escape beyond the LFCM. The uranium oxide grains will be broken down to a size of several microns, and some of them, possibly, to the submicron level. Up to 50 metric tons of micro-sized particles of uranium oxide powders will inevitably participate in the formation of aerosols. The latter will pose the main hazard to humans. Some methodological and technological approaches to the development of new methods for solid-phase conditioning of the LFCM are proposed.
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