Journal article

Phase Analysis of Australian Uranium Ore Concentrates Determined by Variable Temperature Synchrotron Powder X-ray Diffraction

Samantha B Pandelus, Brendan J Kennedy, Gabriel Murphy, Helen E Brand, Elizabeth Keegan, Allan Pring, Rachel S Popelka-Filcoff



The chemical speciation of uranium oxides is sensitive to the provenance of the samples and their storage conditions. Here, we use diffraction methods to characterize the phases found in three aged (>10 years) uranium ore concentrates of different origins as well as in situ analysis of the thermally induced structural transitions of these materials. The structures of the crystalline phases found in the three samples have been refined, using high-resolution synchrotron X-ray diffraction data. Rietveld analysis of the samples from the Olympic Dam and Ranger uranium mines has revealed the presence of crystalline α-UO2(OH)2, together with metaschoepite (UO2)4O(OH)6·5H2O, in the aged U3O8 samples..

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Funding Acknowledgements

Funding is gratefully acknowledged from Australian Institute of Nuclear Science and Engineering (AINSE) Postgraduate Research Award (Pandelus, and Murphy). This research was undertaken on the PD beamline at the Australian Synchrotron, part of ANSTO (Proposals 12366 and 13376). ANSTO Nuclear Forensics provided the UOC samples. We thank Dr Helen Maynard-Casely for assistance with the neutron diffraction measurements.