An international team of scientists has discovered a solid and stable form of plutonium with a pentavalent oxidation state. She can serve as a transitional phase for the storage of radioactive waste.
Countries around the world are working hard to improve the safety of nuclear waste storage in order to prevent radioactive nuclides from entering the environment. A team of physicists led by scientists from the Center. Helmholtz Dresden-Rossendorf accidentally found another solution to the problem.
Initially, researchers tried to synthesize nanoparticles of plutonium (VI) dioxide using its various precursors, in order to then study their interaction with water, clay, iron oxides and natural organic substances. However, in the course of experiments with Pu (III), (IV) and (V), they each time observed a strange flow reactions halfway through the experiment.
After additional studies with high resolution X-ray absorption spectroscopy, they made sure in dealing with a previously unknown shape of an element. The results were also confirmed by physicists from Sweden..
The discovery of a stable solid form of plutonium will help not only reduce the negative impact of nuclear waste on the environment, but will change the theoretical predictions of the behavior of elements in the environment over millions of years..
At the beginning of the year, scientists also developed a new way automated production of plutonium-238, which makes it possible to increase its production eightfold.
Scientists discover new stable form of plutonium by accident
text: Ilya Bauer, photo: Businessinsider