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An FT-IR Study of the Atmospheric Hydrolysis of Uranium Hexafluoride

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The handling and processing of UF6 is accompanied by the potential for a reaction with water, usually as airborne moisture, and the subsequent risk of releasing airborne, particulate UO2F2 and gaseous hydrogen fluoride. We have studied this reaction under the simulated conditions of a "release" of UF6, whereby hot, pressurized UF6 gas suddenly escapes into ambient air. The "release" experiment simulates, on a small scale, the accidental mixing of UF6 gas with the atmosphere in the absence of wind currents. The data obtained with the use of FT-IR spectroscopy have provided information which permits a much better understanding of the behavior of the evolved hydrogen fluoride, the residual water vapor, and the airborne, particulate UO2F2 and of their relation to each other.

Keywords: Hydrogen fluoride; UF6 hydrolysis; UF6 release; Uranium hexafluoride; Uranyl fluoride

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1366/0003702914336381

Affiliations: 1: Uranium Enrichment Organization, Applied Uranium Chemistry and Spectroscopy Group, Box 2003, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-7266 2: Oak Ridge K-25 Site, Technical Division, Box 2003, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37831-7272 3: University of Tennessee, Chemistry Department, Knoxville, Tennessee 37966-1600

Publication date: July 1, 1991

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