Abstract

The handling and processing of UF<sub>6</sub> is accompanied by the potential for a reaction with water, usually as airborne moisture, and the subsequent risk of releasing airborne, particulate UO<sub>2</sub>F<sub>2</sub> and gaseous hydrogen fluoride. We have studied this reaction under the simulated conditions of a "release" of UF<sub>6</sub>, whereby hot, pressurized UF<sub>6</sub> gas suddenly escapes into ambient air. The "release" experiment simulates, on a small scale, the accidental mixing of UF<sub>6</sub> gas with the atmosphere in the absence of wind currents. The data obtained with the use of FT-IR spectroscopy have provided information which permits a much better understanding of the behavior of the evolved hydrogen fluoride, the residual water vapor, and the airborne, particulate UO<sub>2</sub>F<sub>2</sub> and of their relation to each other.

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