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Multiparametric study of thorium oxide dissolution in aqueous media

Abstract : Thorium oxide is poorly soluble: unlike uranium oxide, concentrated nitric acid medium is not sufficient to get quantitative dissolution. Addition of small amounts of fluoride is required to achieve thorium oxide total dissolution. The effect of several parameters on thorium oxide dissolution in order to optimize the dissolution conditions is reported in this paper. Thus the influence of solid characteristics, dissolution method, temperature and composition of dissolution medium on ThO2 dissolution rate has been studied. No complexing agents tested other than fluoride allows total dissolution. Beyond a given HF concentration a decrease of the dissolution rate is observed due to the formation of a precipitate at the solid/solution interface. It was demonstrated by XPS measurements that this precipitate is constituted of thorium fluoride (ThF4) formed during the ThO2 dissolution. The low concentration of HF required to achieve a total dissolution and the activation energy value measured tends to show a catalytic effect of HF on the dissolution process.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, December 6, 2016 - 1:59:58 PM
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M. Simonnet, N. Barré, R. Drot, C. Le Naour, V. Sladkov, et al.. Multiparametric study of thorium oxide dissolution in aqueous media. Radiochimica Acta, Oldenbourg Wissenschaftsverlag, 2016, 104 (10), pp.691-700. ⟨10.1515/ract-2016-2607⟩. ⟨in2p3-01409742⟩



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