Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

New knowledge about plutonium calms scientists

19.03.2004


New analyses from KTH in Stockholm are creating order in the uncertainty that has prevailed for the last four years about how plutonium dioxide, one of the most important radioactive compounds in nuclear waste, behaves when it comes into contact with water. The findings are being published in the latest issue of Nature Materials.



In January 2000 an article was published in the American scientific journal Science. A research team had discovered that plutonium dioxide, PuO2, quite unexpectedly could be transformed by oxidation to form a new stable compound PuO2,27.

This sparked heated discussions and a great deal of uncertainty in the scientific community, since the world was now facing a new radioactive compound with unknown characteristics.


The consequences of this would be that hazardous nuclear waste was probably much more easily soluble in water that was previously thought, and thereby much more unstable. Previous risk assessments were turned on end.

A research team at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) in Stockholm, with scientists from KTH, Uppsala University, and a research institute in Budapest were commissioned by SKB, the Swedish Nuclear Fuel and Waste Management Company, to study this. It has taken four years, and advanced calculations have been carried out in order to explain the earlier findings. The results are considered to be of vital importance.

“It’s good news. It seems that this compound PuO2,27, is not stable. It can only be created temporarily under special conditions, which means that there is no reason to revise previous risk analyses. We have filled in a few gaps in our knowledge and found an explanation for the findings of the other scientists,” says Pavel Korzhavyi, a researcher at KTH Materials Science.

The team’s findings are based on computer simulations, and neither Pavel nor his colleagues have been in contact with plutonium.

Jacob Seth-Fransson | alfa
Further information:
http://www.kth.se/eng/

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht How does the loss of species alter ecosystems?
18.05.2017 | Deutsches Zentrum für integrative Biodiversitätsforschung (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig

nachricht Excess diesel emissions bring global health & environmental impacts
16.05.2017 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Camera on NASA's Lunar Orbiter survived 2014 meteoroid hit

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 3-D look at the 2015 El Niño

29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>