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Title: The morphologies and compositions of depleted uranium particles from an environmental case-study
Authors: Lloyd, Nicholas Selwyn
Mosselmans, J. F. W.
Parrish, Randall R.
Chenery, Simon R. N.
Hainsworth, Sarah V.
Kemp, S. J.
First Published: Jun-2009
Publisher: Mineralogical Society
Citation: Mineralogical Magazine, 2009, 73 (3), pp. 495-510.
Abstract: Uraniferous particles from contaminated environmental samples were analysed by scanning electron microscopy with energy dispersive X-ray analysis (SEM-EDXA) and microfocus extended X-ray absorption fine structure (μEXAFS) spectroscopy. The particles of interest are uranium oxides, which were released into the environment by the combustion of scrap depleted uranium (DU) metal at a factory in Colonie, New York, USA. Most of the identified particles appear to have primary, 'as emitted' morphologies; some have evidence of minor dissolution, including corrosion pitting. Polycrystalline and often hollow microscopic spheres were identified, which are similar to particles produced by DU munitions impacting armoured targets. They are attributed to the autothermic oxidation of melt droplets. The compositions of the analysed spheres are dominated by UO2+x with variable amounts of U3O8, two of the least soluble and least bioaccessible phases of U. These particles, collected from dusts and soils, have survived more than 25 y in the terrestrial environment. This study further supports the case for using Colonie as an analogue for battlefield DU contamination.
DOI Link: 10.1180/minmag.2009.073.3.495
ISSN: 0026-461X
Type: Article
Rights: This paper was published as Mineralogical Magazine, 2009, 73 (3), pp. 495-510. It is also available from the journal website at Doi: 10.1180/minmag.2009.073.3.495
Appears in Collections:Published Articles, Dept. of Geology

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