Dalton Seminar Series: Understanding the chemistry of uranium mining/nuclear waste using synchrotron radiation
|Starts:||12:00 11 Mar 2016|
|Ends:||13:00 11 Mar 2016|
|What is it:||Seminar|
|Organiser:||Dalton Nuclear Institute|
|Who is it for:||University staff, Current University students|
Speaker Andrew Grosvenor is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan.
A focus of the solid-state chemistry group at the University of Saskatchewan is to increase our understanding of nuclear materials by use of synchrotron radiation-based techniques. During the first part of this talk, I will discuss our on-going collaboration with AREVA Resources Canada to study how the tailings (solid waste) from the uranium mill located at McClean Lake, Saskatchewan change over time. Uranium ore bodies contain many mineral phases beside uranium oxide that need to be disposed of in a responsible fashion. Solid mining waste can be placed in a tailings management facility (TMF), which is designed to contain the waste elements and limit interaction with the external environment. To understand how a tailings facility will behave throughout the lifetime of the mining operations that feed the tailings management facility, and after the site has been decommissioned, it is important to understand the chemistry of the tailings and how they change with time. This part of the talk will focus on our use of micro-X-ray diffraction, X-ray microprobe, Laue diffraction, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy to identify the Mo- and Ca-bearing minerals in the TMF, and to determine how the concentration of these solid phases change over time. During the final portion of the talk, I will discuss our studies of crystalline metal-oxides as potential nuclear wasteforms. One aspect of using crystalline metal oxides for the sequestration of nuclear waste elements that must be understood is how the decay of radioactive elements affects the structure of the material. The influence of radiation on a crystalline structure can be simulated by high-energy, ion implantation. We have successfully used surface sensitive glancing-angle X-ray absorption near-edge spectroscopy to study the effect of ion implantation on the structure of pyrochlore-type oxides, monazite- and xenotime-type rare-earth phosphates, and glass-ceramic composites.
Role: Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry
Organisation: University of Saskatchewan
Biography: Andrew is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry, University of Saskatchewan. The solid-state chemistry research group that he leads is devoted to the study of materials that are important to the nuclear industry. He collaborates with the uranium mining industry on the study of mine wastes and Canadian Nuclear Laboratories on the development of nuclear fuels. His group is also studying solid-state materials for the sequestration of nuclear waste. A unique aspect of this research program is the use of synchrotron radiation-based techniques to study these materials.
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