The reaction of unirradiated-U with liquid water was investigated under initial vacuum-contained conditions. Ten samples were examined at varying temperatures and reaction times. Post-corrosion examination of the surfaces was conducted using FIB, SIMS and XRD. Measurements of the reacting water pH and degassing of the samples was conducted after the reaction was stopped. From the analyses, it was concluded that bulk-UH 3 formation occurred on the majority of the samples. It is suggested that UH 3 formation was facilitated by a critical ‘threshold’ headspace pressure ∼0.5bar over which pressure deficiency is observed in the free headspace.
- Threshold pressure
- Water corrosion