Oct. 18 (UPI) – Using the European Synchrotron, a team of physicists have identified a new stable form of plutonium. The new discovered compound is present in a state of emergency and unexpected pentavalent oxidation state.
The discovery, this week in the Journal of Applied Chemistry International Edition, resulting in accident. Researchers originally set out to develop improved methods of doing nuclear meltdowns and accidents, as well as the scope of the ensuing fallout.
The Helmholtz Center Dresden-Rossendorf synthesizes and observes the behavior of actinides, a group of metallic elements that are heavy, radioactive and very unstable.
To create actinides, scientists use precursors. The researchers discovered the new compound while attempting to create plutonium dioxide nanoparticles using a Pu (VI) precursor.
"Every time we create nanoparticles from the other precursors, we have a problem," said Kristina Kvashnina, physicist from HZDR, pu (iii), (iv) or (v) the reaction is very quick in a news release.
"The chemists were in disbelief, but the results were quite clear," Kvashnina said. who is currently working with the ROBL beamline at the European Synchrotron in France.
To confirm the surprise, scientists use the ROBL beamline to image the edge of a plutonium isotope called Pu M4.
"Our choice of beamline was straight forward: the ESRF-ID26 beamline, as it is the best place, in terms of the intensity and energy resolution, where such high-energy resolution X-ray Absorption spectroscopy studies at low energy can be done, "Kvashnina said.
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When in the first place of the experiment, what happened at ID26 for the first time looked again three months later, they said the same results, confirming the stability of the new form of plutonium.
Scientists build models to predict the behavior of actinides like plutonium.
"It is a difficult task and only theoretical predictions are possible, but the existence of this new Pu (V) solid phase, which is stable, will have to be taken into account from now on, "said Kvashnina.