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Effect of Gadolinium Doping on the Air Oxidation of Uranium Dioxide

  • Randall D. Scheele (a1), Brady D. Hanson (a1), Stephen E. Cumblidge (a1), Evan D. Jenson (a1), Anne E. Kozelisky (a1), Rachel L. Sell (a1), Paul J. MacFarlan (a1) and Lanee A. Snow (a1)...


Researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) investigated the effects of gadolinium oxide concentration on the air oxidization of gadolinium oxide-doped uranium dioxide using thermogravimetry and differential scanning calorimetry to determine if such doping could improve uraniumdioxide's stability as a nuclear fuel during potential accident scenarios in a nuclear reactor or during long-term disposal. We undertook this study to determine whether the resistance of the uranium dioxide to oxidation to the orthorhombic U3O8 with its attendant crystal expansion could be prevented by addition of gadolinium oxide. Our studies found that gadolinium has little effect on the thermal initiation of the first step of the reported two-step air oxidation of UO2; however, increasing gadolinium oxide content does stabilize the initial tetragonal or cubic product allowing significant oxidation before the second expansive step to U3O8 begins.



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  • EISSN: 1946-4274
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