Following identification of radioactive Cs microparticles (CsMPs) in aerosol samples from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant (FDNPP), numerous reports on CsMPs have been published. This paper reviews recent progress in the measurement and characterization of CsMPs by advanced analytical techniques, including advanced transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and synchrotron X-ray analysis. These analyses revealed that the CsMPs contained Si, Fe, Zn, Cs, and minor quantities of U together with some fission products. Uranium in the CsMPs was identified as being in the form of uraninite and (U,Zr)O2. Detailed advanced TEM analysis has clarified some of the processes resulting in the alteration of constituents of the nuclear fuels and containment vessel materials during this severe accident. In addition, a detailed report on the elemental compositions and structures of the fuel debris fragments collected inside and outside of the primary containment vessel25 highlighted the fact that the fuel debris fragments contained nanoparticles with the U and Zr components having similar structures to that of the CsMPs. This similarity in structures has stimulated further research on the structure and elemental constituents, especially for U and Zr in the CsMPs, and has opened up new avenues for studying the chemical characteristics of the fuel debris.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering