Ruthenium Behaviour in Severe Nuclear Accident Conditions: Final Report

Ulrika Backman, Maija Lipponen, Ari Auvinen, Jorma Jokiniemi, Riitta Zilliacus

Research output: Book/ReportReport


During routine nuclear reactor operations, ruthenium will accumulate in the fuel in relatively high concentrations. In a steam atmosphere, ruthenium is not volatile, and it is not likely to be released from the fuel. However, in an air ingress accident during reactor power operation or during maintenance, ruthenium may form volatile species, which may be released into the containment. Oxide forms of ruthenium are more volatile than the metallic form. Radiotoxicity of ruthenium is high both in the short and the long term.

The results of this project imply that in oxidising conditions during nuclear reactor core degradation, ruthenium release increases as oxidised gaseous species RuO3 and RuO4 are formed. A significant part of the released ruthenium is then deposited on reactor coolant system piping. However, in the presence of steam and aerosol particles, a substantial amount of ruthenium may be released as gaseous RuO4 into the containment atmosphere.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherNordic Nuclear Safety Research NKS
Number of pages22
ISBN (Print)87-7893-159-2
Publication statusPublished - 2004
MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

Publication series

SeriesNKS Reports
SeriesVTT Processes. Project Report

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