To investigate the resistance of actinide host phases to accelerated radiation damage, which simulates radiation induced effects of long term storage, the following samples doped with plutonium-238 (from 2 to 10 wt. %) have been repeatedly studied using XRD and other methods: cubic zirconia, Zr0.79Gd0.14Pu0.07O1.99; monazite, (La,Pu)PO4; ceramic based on Pu-phosphate of monazite structure, PuPO4; ceramic based on zircon, (Zr,Pu)SiO4, and minor phase tetragonal zirconia, (Zr,Pu)O2; single crystal zircon, (Zr,Pu)SiO4; single crystal monazite, (Eu,Pu)PO4; ceramic based on Ti-pyrochlore, (Ca,Gd,Hf,Pu,U)2Ti2O7. No change of phase composition, matrix swelling, or cracking in cubic zirconia were observed after cumulative dose 2.77×1025 alpha decay/m3. The La-monazite remained crystalline at cumulative dose 1.19×1025 alpha decay/m3, although Pu-phosphate of monazite structure became nearly amorphous at relatively low dose 4.2×1024 alpha decay/m3. Zircon has lost crystalline structures under self-irradiation at dose (1.3-1.5)×1025 alpha decay/m3, however, amorphous zircon characterized with high chemical durability. The Ti-pyrochlore after cumulative dose (1.1-1.3)×1025 alpha decay/m3 became amorphous and lost chemical durability. Radiation damage caused crack formation in zircon single crystals but not in the matrix of polycrystalline zircon. Essential swelling and crack formation as a result of radiation damage were observed in ceramics based on Ti-pyrochlore and Pu-phosphate of monazite structure, but not so far in La-monazite doped with 238Pu.
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Boris, E.B., Maria, A.Y., Maria, V.Z. et al. Self-Irradiation of Ceramics and Single Crystals Doped With Pu-238: Summary of 5 Years of Research of the V. G. Khlopin Radium Institute. MRS Online Proceedings Library 1107, 381 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1557/PROC-1107-381