High-temperature interaction of uranium and zirconium with water vapor
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We analyze physicochemical processes of interaction between uranium, zirconium, and its alloy (with 1% Nb) with water vapor at temperatures up to 1500°K and study mechanisms and kinetics of these processes. It is shown that, up to 700°K, the kinetics of the process of oxidation of uranium is described by a linear function of time; at temperatures higher than 900°K, this dependence becomes parabolic. Our interpretation of the mechanism of the process of oxidation of uranium takes into account the influence of structural defects and electrochemical properties of uranium oxides formed in the course of this process. The process of oxidation of zirconium and its alloy with 1% Nb by water vapor obeys a cubic law in the temperature range 900–1200°K and a parabolic law in the range 1300–1500°K. The comparative analysis demonstrates that the hydrogen release rate in the process of uranium oxidation is about twice as high as in the process of vapor-zirconium reaction.
KeywordsOxidation Hydrogen Zirconium Uranium Water Vapor
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