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Open Access Phase Decomposition upon Alteration of Radiation-Damaged Monazite–(Ce) from Moss, Østfold, Norway

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The internal textures of crystals of moderately radiation-damaged monazite–(Ce) from Moss, Norway, indicate heavy, secondary chemical alteration. In fact, the cm-sized specimens are no longer mono-mineral monazite but rather a composite consisting of monazite–(Ce) and apatite pervaded by several generations of fractures filled with sulphides and a phase rich in Th, Y, and Si. This composite is virtually a 'pseudomorph' after primary euhedral monazite crystals whose faces are still well preserved. The chemical alteration has resulted in major reworking and decomposition of the primary crystals, with potentially uncontrolled elemental changes, including extensive release of Th from the primary monazite and local redeposition of radionuclides in fracture fillings. This seems to question the general alteration-resistance of orthophosphate phases in a low-temperature, 'wet' environment, and hence their suitability as potential host ceramics for the long-term immobilisation of radioactive waste.

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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institut für Mineralogie und Kristallographie, Universität Wien, Althanstrasse 14, A–1090 Wien, Austria 2: Helmholtz-Zentrum Potsdam, Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum, Telegrafenberg, D–14473 Potsdam, Germany 3: BWI Informationstechnik GmbH, Balanstr. 73, D–81541 München, Germany 4: Department of Applied Physics, Curtin University of Technology, Building 301, Kent Street, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia 5: Department of Applied Geology, Curtin University of Technology, Building 312, Kent Street, Bentley, WA 6102, Australia 6: Fachbereich Materialforschung und Physik, Universität Salzburg, Hellbrunnerstrasse 34, A–5020 Salzburg, Austria 7: Institut für Geowissenschaften, Universität Mainz, Johann-Joachim-Becher-Weg 21, D–55099 Mainz, Germany

Publication date: October 1, 2010

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  • International Journal for Chemistry and Official Membership Journal of the Swiss Chemical Society (SCS) and its Divisions

    CHIMIA, a scientific journal for chemistry in the broadest sense, is published 10 times a year and covers the interests of a wide and diverse readership. Contributions from all fields of chemistry and related areas are considered for publication in the form of Review Articles and Notes. A characteristic feature of CHIMIA are the thematic issues, each devoted to an area of great current significance.

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