In the U.K., High Level Waste from reprocessing operations is vitrified at the Sellafield Waste Vitrification Plant (WVP). A small number of the nuclides present in the waste have the potential to volatilize during vitrification. In order to prevent release of any radionuclides to the environment it is important to understand the mechanisms by which volatilization may occur and to have suitable controls in place. One element of particular concern is ruthenium, formed during the fission of nuclear fuel, which has the potential to form gaseous species such as RuO4 during the vitrification process and whose behavior must therefore be understood in order to underpin the safe operation of WVP.

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