The widespread distribution of zircon in the continental crust, its tendency to concentrate trace elements, particularly lanthanides and actinides, its use in age-dating, and its resistance to chemical and physical degradation have made zircon the most important accessory mineral in geologic studies. Because zircon is highly refractory, it also has important industrial applications, including its use as a lining material in high-temperature furnaces. However, during the past decade, zircon has also been proposed for advanced technology applications, such as a durable material for the immobilization of plutonium (Ewing et al. 1995) or, when modified by ion-beam irradiation, as...

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