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1.
J Environ Radioact ; 237: 106700, 2021 Oct.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34293717

RESUMO

Above-ground nuclear explosions that interact with the surface of the earth entrain materials from the surrounding environment, influencing the resulting physical and chemical evolution of the fireball, which can affect the final chemical phase and mobility of hazardous radionuclides that are dispersed in the environment as fallout particles. The interaction of iron with a nuclear explosion is of specific interest due to the potential for iron to act as a redox buffer and because of the likelihood of significant masses of metals to be present in urban environments. We investigated fallout from a historic surface interacting nuclear explosion conducted on a steel tower and report the discovery of widespread and diverse iron-rich micro-structures preserved within the samples, including crystalline dendrites and micron-scale iron-rich spheres with liquid immiscibility textures. We assert these micro-structures reflect local redox conditions and cooling rates and can inform interpretation of high temperature events, enabling new insights into fireball condensation physics and chemistry when metals from the local environment (i.e. structural steel) are vaporized or entrained. These observations also significantly expand the availability of silicate immiscibility datasets applicable to rapidly quenched systems such as meteorite impact melt glass.


Assuntos
Ferro , Monitoramento de Radiação , Radioisótopos/análise , Silicatos , Temperatura
2.
Talanta ; 226: 122096, 2021 May 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33676653

RESUMO

Hydrated secondary mineralization readily forms on the surface of UO2 particles exposed to humidity in an oxidizing environment. The oxygen stable isotope composition of the secondary uranium oxide may reflect that of the water vapor, as well as the hydrogen and oxygen stable isotopic composition of the mineral hydration water. The geospatial organization of δ2H and δ18O values of atmospheric humidity and precipitation is increasingly well understood, which suggests that the hydrogen and oxygen stable isotopes in secondary mineral hydration water may yield information on the environment in which the mineralization formed. UO2 powders were exposed to air with constant 30%, 61%, and 91% relative humidity, and constant H and O stable isotope composition. Aliquots were sampled from the UO2 materials at intervals of 1-10 days through the total humidity exposure duration of 180 days. Scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and x-ray diffraction analysis of the humidity-exposed UO2 indicates that schoepite/metaschoepite [(UO3)•2H2O] secondary phases had formed on the underlying UO2. The δ2H and δ18O values of mineral hydration waters were determined by thermogravimetry-enabled isotope ratio infrared spectroscopy (TGA-IRIS). Results indicate that hydrogen in the surface sorbed and mineral hydration waters is exchangeable and thus their δ2H values are difficult to interpret. However, oxygen in these waters is less exchangeable, and thus the oxygen stable isotope composition of the schoepite/metaschoepite hydration water is likely to be related to that of the exposure water vapor. After formation of schoepite/metaschoepite, the δ18O values of the hydration water in schoepite/metaschoepite does not change in response to changes in exposure vapor δ18O values, which suggests that the δ18O values of the hydration water is relatively durable. These findings suggest that information about the origin and storage history of a UO2 sample may be discernable from δ18O values of schoepite/metaschoepite hydration water.

3.
Anal Chem ; 92(9): 6437-6445, 2020 May 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32233449

RESUMO

The predictive models that describe the fate and transport of radioactive materials in the atmosphere following a nuclear incident (explosion or reactor accident) assume that uranium-bearing particulates would attain chemical equilibrium during vapor condensation. In this study, we show that kinetically driven processes in a system of rapidly decreasing temperature can result in substantial deviations from chemical equilibrium. This can cause uranium to condense out in oxidation states (e.g., UO3 vs UO2) that have different vapor pressures, significantly affecting uranium transport. To demonstrate this, we synthesized uranium oxide nanoparticles using a flow reactor under controlled conditions of temperature, pressure, and oxygen concentration. The atomized chemical reactants passing through an inductively coupled plasma cool from ∼5000 to 1000 K within milliseconds and form nanoparticles inside a flow reactor. The ex situ analysis of particulates by transmission electron microscopy revealed 2-10 nm crystallites of fcc-UO2 or α-UO3 depending on the amount of oxygen in the system. α-UO3 is the least thermodynamically preferred polymorph of UO3. The absence of stable uranium oxides with intermediate stoichiometries (e.g., U3O8) and sensitivity of the uranium oxidation states to local redox conditions highlight the importance of in situ measurements at high temperatures. Therefore, we developed a laser-based diagnostic to detect uranium oxide particles as they are formed inside the flow reactor. Our in situ measurements allowed us to quantify the changes in the number densities of the uranium oxide nanoparticles (e.g., UO3) as a function of oxygen gas concentration. Our results indicate that uranium can prefer to be in metastable crystal forms (i.e., α-UO3) that have higher vapor pressures than the refractory form (i.e., UO2) depending on the oxygen abundance in the surrounding environment. This demonstrates that the equilibrium processes may not dominate during rapid condensation processes, and thus kinetic models are required to fully describe uranium transport subsequent to nuclear incidents.

4.
Environ Sci Technol ; 53(13): 7363-7370, 2019 07 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-31192587

RESUMO

Approximately 2.8 t of plutonium (Pu) has been deposited in the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) subsurface as a result of underground nuclear testing. Most of this Pu is sequestered in nuclear melt glass. However, Pu migration has been observed and attributed to colloid facilitated transport. To identify the mechanisms controlling Pu mobilization, long-term (∼3 year) laboratory nuclear melt glass alteration experiments were performed at 25 to 200 °C to mimic hydrothermal conditions in the vicinity of underground nuclear tests. The clay and zeolite colloids produced in these experiments are similar to those identified in NNSS groundwater. At 200 °C, maximum Pu and colloid concentrations of 30 Bq/L and 150 mg/L, respectively, were observed. However, much lower Pu and colloid concentrations were observed at 25 and 80 °C. These data suggest that Pu concentrations above the drinking water Maximum Contaminant Levels (0.56 Bq/L) may exist during early hydrothermal conditions in the vicinity of underground nuclear tests. However, formation of colloid-associated Pu will tend to decrease with time as nuclear test cavity temperatures decrease. Furthermore, median colloid concentrations in NNSS groundwater (1.8 mg/L) suggest that the high colloid and Pu concentrations observed in our 140 and 200 °C experiments are unlikely to persist in downgradient NNSS groundwater. While our experiments did not span all groundwater and nuclear melt glass conditions that may be present at the NNSS, our results are consistent with the documented low Pu concentrations in NNSS groundwater.


Assuntos
Plutônio , Poluentes Radioativos da Água , Coloides , Nevada , Medidas de Segurança
5.
Phys Rev Lett ; 121(3): 037001, 2018 Jul 20.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30085782

RESUMO

Inducing superconductivity in a topological insulator can lead to novel quantum effects. However, experimental approaches to turn a topological insulator into a superconductor are limited. Here, we report on superconductivity in topological insulator Bi_{0.91}Sb_{0.09} induced via focused ion-beam deposition of a Pt thin film. The superconducting phase exhibits a Berezinski-Kosterlitz-Thouless transition, demonstrative of its two-dimensional character. From the in-plane upper critical field measurements, we estimate the superconducting thickness to be ∼17 nm for a 5.5-µm-thick sample. Our results provide evidence that the interface superconductivity could originate from the surface states of Bi_{0.91}Sb_{0.09}.

6.
Sci Rep ; 8(1): 10451, 2018 Jul 11.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29992989

RESUMO

We use a recently developed plasma-flow reactor to experimentally investigate the formation of oxide nanoparticles from gas phase metal atoms during oxidation, homogeneous nucleation, condensation, and agglomeration processes. Gas phase uranium, aluminum, and iron atoms were cooled from 5000 K to 1000 K over short-time scales (∆t < 30 ms) at atmospheric pressures in the presence of excess oxygen. In-situ emission spectroscopy is used to measure the variation in monoxide/atomic emission intensity ratios as a function of temperature and oxygen fugacity. Condensed oxide nanoparticles are collected inside the reactor for ex-situ analyses using scanning and transmission electron microscopy (SEM, TEM) to determine their structural compositions and sizes. A chemical kinetics model is also developed to describe the gas phase reactions of iron and aluminum metals. The resulting sizes and forms of the crystalline nanoparticles (FeO-wustite, eta-Al2O3, UO2, and alpha-UO3) depend on the thermodynamic properties, kinetically-limited gas phase chemical reactions, and local redox conditions. This work shows the nucleation and growth of metal oxide particles in rapidly-cooling gas is closely coupled to the kinetically-controlled chemical pathways for vapor-phase oxide formation.

7.
Rev Sci Instrum ; 88(9): 093506, 2017 Sep.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28964176

RESUMO

We present the development of a steady state plasma flow reactor to investigate gas phase physical and chemical processes that occur at high temperature (1000 < T < 5000 K) and atmospheric pressure. The reactor consists of a glass tube that is attached to an inductively coupled argon plasma generator via an adaptor (ring flow injector). We have modeled the system using computational fluid dynamics simulations that are bounded by measured temperatures. In situ line-of-sight optical emission and absorption spectroscopy have been used to determine the structures and concentrations of molecules formed during rapid cooling of reactants after they pass through the plasma. Emission spectroscopy also enables us to determine the temperatures at which these dynamic processes occur. A sample collection probe inserted from the open end of the reactor is used to collect condensed materials and analyze them ex situ using electron microscopy. The preliminary results of two separate investigations involving the condensation of metal oxides and chemical kinetics of high-temperature gas reactions are discussed.

8.
Appl Environ Microbiol ; 82(24): 7093-7101, 2016 12 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27694230

RESUMO

Safe and effective nuclear waste disposal, as well as accidental radionuclide releases, necessitates our understanding of the fate of radionuclides in the environment, including their interaction with microorganisms. We examined the sorption of Pu(IV) and Pu(V) to Pseudomonas sp. strain EPS-1W, an aerobic bacterium isolated from plutonium (Pu)-contaminated groundwater collected in the United States at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) in Nevada. We compared Pu sorption to cells with and without bound extracellular polymeric substances (EPS). Wild-type cells with intact EPS sorbed Pu(V) more effectively than cells with EPS removed. In contrast, cells with and without EPS showed the same sorption affinity for Pu(IV). In vitro experiments with extracted EPS revealed rapid reduction of Pu(V) to Pu(IV). Transmission electron microscopy indicated that 2- to 3-nm nanocrystalline Pu(IV)O2 formed on cells equilibrated with high concentrations of Pu(IV) but not Pu(V). Thus, EPS, while facilitating Pu(V) reduction, inhibit the formation of nanocrystalline Pu(IV) precipitates. IMPORTANCE: Our results indicate that EPS are an effective reductant for Pu(V) and sorbent for Pu(IV) and may impact Pu redox cycling and mobility in the environment. Additionally, the resulting Pu morphology associated with EPS will depend on the concentration and initial Pu oxidation state. While our results are not directly applicable to the Pu transport situation at the NNSS, the results suggest that, in general, stationary microorganisms and biofilms will tend to limit the migration of Pu and provide an important Pu retardation mechanism in the environment. In a broader sense, our results, along with a growing body of literature, highlight the important role of microorganisms as producers of redox-active organic ligands and therefore as modulators of radionuclide redox transformations and complexation in the subsurface.


Assuntos
Plutônio/metabolismo , Polímeros/metabolismo , Pseudomonas/metabolismo , Poluentes Radioativos do Solo/metabolismo , Oxirredução , Pseudomonas/genética , Pseudomonas/isolamento & purificação , Microbiologia do Solo
9.
Environ Sci Technol ; 50(13): 6948-56, 2016 07 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-27268262

RESUMO

Pu(IV) and Pu(V) sorption to goethite was investigated over a concentration range of 10(-15)-10(-5) M at pH 8. Experiments with initial Pu concentrations of 10(-15) - 10(-8) M produced linear Pu sorption isotherms, demonstrating that Pu sorption to goethite is not concentration-dependent across this concentration range. Equivalent Pu(IV) and Pu(V) sorption Kd values obtained at 1 and 2-week sampling time points indicated that Pu(V) is rapidly reduced to Pu(IV) on the goethite surface. Further, it suggested that Pu surface redox transformations are sufficiently rapid to achieve an equilibrium state within 1 week, regardless of the initial Pu oxidation state. At initial concentrations >10(-8) M, both Pu oxidation states exhibited deviations from linear sorption behavior and less Pu was adsorbed than at lower concentrations. NanoSIMS and HRTEM analysis of samples with initial Pu concentrations of 10(-8) - 10(-6) M indicated that Pu surface and/or bulk precipitation was likely responsible for this deviation. In 10(-6) M Pu(IV) and Pu(V) samples, HRTEM analysis showed the formation of a body centered cubic (bcc) Pu4O7 structure on the goethite surface, confirming that reduction of Pu(V) had occurred on the mineral surface and that epitaxial distortion previously observed for Pu(IV) sorption occurs with Pu(V) as well.


Assuntos
Oxirredução , Plutônio/química , Adsorção
10.
J Environ Radioact ; 141: 90-6, 2015 Mar.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-25562752

RESUMO

The effect of altering the order of addition in a ternary system of plutonium(IV), organic matter (fulvic acid, humic acid and desferrioxamine B), and montmorillonite was investigated. A decrease in Pu(IV) sorption to montmorillonite in the presence of fulvic and humic acid relative to the binary Pu-montmorillonite system, is attributed to strong organic aqueous complex formation with aqueous Pu(IV). No dependence on the order of addition was observed. In contrast, in the system where Pu(IV) was equilibrated with desferrioxamine B (DFOB) prior to addition of montmorillonite, an increase in Pu(IV) sorption was observed relative to the binary system. When DFOB was equilibrated with montmorillonite prior to addition of Pu(IV), Pu(IV) sorption was equivalent to the binary system. X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy revealed that DFOB accumulated in the interlayer of montmorillonite. The order of DFOB addition plays an important role in the observed sorption/desorption behavior of Pu. The irreversible nature of DFOB accumulation in the montmorillonite interlayer leads to an apparent dependence of Pu sorption on the order of addition in the ternary system. This work demonstrates that the order of addition will be relevant in ternary systems in which at least one component exhibits irreversible sorption behavior.


Assuntos
Bentonita/química , Benzopiranos/análise , Desferroxamina/análise , Substâncias Húmicas/análise , Plutônio/química , Poluentes Radioativos do Solo/química , Adsorção , Microscopia Eletrônica de Transmissão , Difração de Raios X
11.
Environ Sci Technol ; 47(3): 1745-52, 2013 Feb 05.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23289811

RESUMO

Defining chemical and mechanical alteration of wellbore cement by CO(2)-rich brines is important for predicting the long-term integrity of wellbores in geologic CO(2) environments. We reacted CO(2)-rich brines along a cement-caprock boundary at 60 °C and pCO(2) = 3 MPa using flow-through experiments. The results show that distinct reaction zones form in response to reactions with the brine over the 8-day experiment. Detailed characterization of the crystalline and amorphous phases, and the solution chemistry show that the zones can be modeled as preferential portlandite dissolution in the depleted layer, concurrent calcium silicate hydrate (CSH) alteration to an amorphous zeolite and Ca-carbonate precipitation in the carbonate layer, and carbonate dissolution in the amorphous layer. Chemical reaction altered the mechanical properties of the core lowering the average Young's moduli in the depleted, carbonate, and amorphous layers to approximately 75, 64, and 34% of the unaltered cement, respectively. The decreased elastic modulus of the altered cement reflects an increase in pore space through mineral dissolution and different moduli of the reaction products.


Assuntos
Dióxido de Carbono/química , Materiais de Construção/análise , Fenômenos Mecânicos , Sais/química , Carbono/química , Concentração de Íons de Hidrogênio , Espectroscopia de Ressonância Magnética , Microscopia Eletrônica de Varredura , Nanotecnologia , Pós , Soluções , Difração de Raios X
12.
J Colloid Interface Sci ; 390(1): 176-82, 2013 Jan 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-23079039

RESUMO

Sorption of 10(-18)-10(-5)M neptunium (Np) to goethite was examined using liquid scintillation counting and gamma spectroscopy. A combination approach using (239)Np and long lived (237)Np was employed to span this wide concentration range. (239)Np detection limits were determined to be 2×10(-18)M and 3×10(-17)M for liquid scintillation counting and gamma spectroscopy, respectively. Sorption was found to be linear below 10(-11)M, in contrast to the non-linear behavior observed at higher concentrations both here and in the literature. 2-site and 3-site Langmuir models were used to simulate sorption behavior over the entire 10(-18)-10(-5)M range. The 3-site model fit yielded Type I and II site densities of 3.56 sites/nm(2) (99.6%) and 0.014±0.007 sites/nm(2) (0.4±0.1%), consistent with typical "high affinity" and "low affinity" sites reported in the literature [21]. Modeling results for both models suggest that sorption below ~10(-11)M is controlled by a third (Type III) site with a density on the order of ~7×10(-5)sites/nm(2) (~0.002%). While the nature of this "site" cannot be determined from isotherm data alone, the sorption data at ultra-low Np concentrations indicate that Np(V) sorption to goethite at environmentally relevant concentrations will be (1) linear and (2) higher than previous (high concentration) laboratory experiments suggest.

13.
Environ Sci Technol ; 47(1): 252-61, 2013 Jan 02.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22873684

RESUMO

The Mount Simon sandstone and Eau Claire shale formations are target storage and cap rock formations for the Illinois Basin-Decatur Geologic Carbon Sequestration Project. We reacted rock samples with brine and supercritical CO(2) at 51 °C and 19.5 MPa to access the reactivity of these formations at storage conditions and to address the applicability of using published kinetic and thermodynamic constants to predict geochemical alteration that may occur during storage by quantifying parameter uncertainty against experimental data. Incongruent dissolution of iron-rich clays and formation of secondary clays and amorphous silica will dominate geochemical alterations at this CO(2) storage site in CO(2)-rich brines. The surrogate iron-rich clay in the model required significant adjustments to its thermodynamic constants and inclusion of incongruent reaction terms to capture the change in solution composition under acid CO(2) conditions. This result emphasizes the need for experiments that constrain the conceptual geochemical model, calibrate mean parameter values, and quantify parameter uncertainty in reactive-transport simulations that will be used to estimate long-term CO(2) trapping mechanisms and changes in porosity and permeability.


Assuntos
Dióxido de Carbono/química , Minerais/química , Modelos Teóricos , Sequestro de Carbono , Fenômenos Geológicos , Método de Monte Carlo , Sais/química , Solubilidade
14.
Environ Sci Technol ; 45(7): 2698-703, 2011 Apr 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-21446768

RESUMO

The subsurface migration of Pu may be enhanced by the presence of colloidal forms of Pu. Therefore, complete evaluation of the risk posed by subsurface Pu contamination needs to include a detailed physical/chemical understanding of Pu colloid formation and interactions of Pu colloids with environmentally relevant solid phases. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) was used to characterize Pu nanocolloids and interactions of Pu nanocolloids with goethite and quartz. We report that intrinsic Pu nanocolloids generated in the absence of goethite or quartz were 2-5 nm in diameter, and both electron diffraction analysis and HRTEM confirm the expected Fm3m space group with the fcc, PuO2 structure. Plutonium nanocolloids formed on goethite have undergone a lattice distortion relative to the ideal fluorite-type structure, fcc, PuO2, resulting in the formation of a bcc, Pu4O7 structure. This structural distortion results from an epitaxial growth of the plutonium colloid on goethite, leading to stronger binding of plutonium to goethite compared with other minerals such as quartz, where the distortion was not observed. This finding provides new insight for understanding how molecular-scale behavior at the mineral-water interface may facilitate transport of plutonium at the field scale.


Assuntos
Compostos de Ferro/química , Nanopartículas Metálicas/química , Minerais/química , Plutônio/química , Quartzo/química , Poluentes Radioativos/química , Adsorção , Coloides , Água Doce/química , Cinética , Nanopartículas Metálicas/ultraestrutura , Microscopia Eletrônica de Transmissão , Solo/química , Propriedades de Superfície
15.
Science ; 314(5806): 1711-6, 2006 Dec 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-17170289

RESUMO

The Stardust spacecraft collected thousands of particles from comet 81P/Wild 2 and returned them to Earth for laboratory study. The preliminary examination of these samples shows that the nonvolatile portion of the comet is an unequilibrated assortment of materials that have both presolar and solar system origin. The comet contains an abundance of silicate grains that are much larger than predictions of interstellar grain models, and many of these are high-temperature minerals that appear to have formed in the inner regions of the solar nebula. Their presence in a comet proves that the formation of the solar system included mixing on the grandest scales.

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