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Characterizing the Chemical Behavior of Uranium Compounds for Nuclear Forensics...

Publication Type
Conference Paper
Journal Name
INMM Proceedings
Publication Date
Page Number
Conference Name
INMM 59th Annual Meeting
Conference Location
Balitmore, Maryland, United States of America
Conference Sponsor
Institute of Nuclear Materials Management
Conference Date

Better characterization of uranium compounds related to the nuclear fuel cycle is a key goal of the nuclear forensics community. Understanding the chemical behavior of these compounds in various environmental conditions and the effect on observable properties is crucial to the identification of unknown materials. Uranyl fluoride, the hydrolysis product of uranium hexafluoride, is a material of particular interest. Previous studies have suggested that uranyl fluoride may degrade upon exposure to high humidity, but the chemical pathway of degradation was previously not well understood. Our work demonstrates that uranyl fluoride undergoes a chemical reaction with water vapor to form uranyl hydroxide and peroxide species. This understanding will help guide forensic analysis in the future.