Method of inhibiting spontaneous oxidation of uranium dioxide powders


Uranium dioxide is stabilized towards spontaneous oxidation by contacting with an inhibitor which may be carbon dioxide, ammonia, water, carbon tetrachloride, and alcohols, ketones, or hydrocarbons having a vapour pressure in excess of 10 mm. at standard temperature and pressure, under conditions such that the ratio of the pressure of the inhibitor p at the time of contact, to its saturation vapour pressure po, in the case of those which are liquid at normal temperatures, or the liquefaction pressure at the absorption temperature, in the case of vapours, is not less than 0.05 and preferably not greater than 0.2 in cases of gaseous inhibitors. The treatment may be effected by condensing a liquid inhibitor on to the powder, contacting with pure inhibitor gas, circulating a gas containing a mist of inhibitor or saturated therewith, through a layer of powder.




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