Experimental and modelling studies of iodine oxide formation and aerosol behaviour relevant to nuclear reactor accidents
Journal article, 2014
Plant assessments have shown that iodine contributes significantly to the source term for a range of accident scenarios. Iodine has a complex chemistry that determines its chemical form and, consequently, its volatility in the containment. If volatile iodine species are formed by reactions in the containment, they will be subject to radiolytic reactions in the atmosphere, resulting in the conversion of the gaseous species into involatile iodine oxides, which may deposit on surfaces or re-dissolve in water pools. The concentration of airborne iodine in the containment will, therefore, be determined by the balance between the reactions contributing to the formation and destruction of volatile species, as well as by the physicochemical properties of the iodine oxide aerosols which will influence their longevity in the atmosphere. This paper summarises the work that has been done in the framework of the EC SARNET (Severe Accident Research Network) to develop a greater understanding of the reactions of gaseous iodine species in irradiated air/steam atmospheres, and the nature and behaviour of the reaction products. This work has mainly been focussed on investigating the nature and behaviour of iodine oxide aerosols, but earlier work by members of the SARNET group on gaseous reaction rates is also discussed to place the more recent work into context.