Category Archives: Advanced separation techniques for nuclear fuel reprocessing and radioactive waste treatment

UREX+2 process test

Another version of the UREX+ process was tested in miniature centrifugal contactors at Argonne National lab in 2004 using the same spent fuel feed as previously described (Pereira 2005). Changes to the process included the coextraction of U, Tc, Np and Pu from the rest of the waste, see Fig. 6.6, routing the high active waste to further Cs/Sr removal. […]

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Separation of the intermediate-lived heat-generating fission products 137Cs/137mBa and 90Sr/®0Y

Historical perspective and current trends Interest in the separation of fission-product cesium and strontium dates back to the early days of reprocessing over half a century ago. This interest has been reflected in a large body of scientific research and process devel­opment that is growing unabated to this day. Motivation has been threefold: advanced reprocessing, waste management, and industrial applications.25,26 […]

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Counter current extraction

In the electrorefiner, LFP in the molten salt gradually builds up during processing of the spent fuels. In order to limit the decay heat content and the contamination of the cathode products, the molten salts in the electro­refiner are periodically treated in the ‘counter current extraction’ process and ‘zeolite column’ process to decrease LFP content. As shown in Fig. 10.5, […]

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Properties of trivalent actinides and lanthanides

In nitric acid solutions, such as PUREX raffinates (where [HNO3] > 3 mol. L-1), the 4f lanthanide metallic cations (Ln) and the 5f americium and curium metallic cations (An) predominantly show the same oxidation state, +III, and many similar physical and chemical properties (Nash, 1993, 1994, Beitz, 1994, Morss, 1994, Marcus, 1997):

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Advanced separation techniques for nuclear fuel reprocessing and radioactive waste treatment

As the 21st century unfolds, energy has become a theme underlying many of the challenges facing mankind. There is little doubt that standard of living closely correlates with the availability of energy resources. Raising the global standard of living will require providing power to those who cur­rently do not have it. It is estimated that two billion people do not […]

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Centrifuges

Centrifuges are typically used to separate undissolved fission product particles and fuel cladding debris from the dissolved nuclear fuel prior to reprocessing. A typical unit, used in the Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP) at Sellafield in the UK, and similar to the units used at the La Hague nuclear site in France, is shown in Fig. 3.4. This has a […]

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Safeguards applications for pyrochemical separations

An example of a safeguards application to a pyrochemical separation plant is found at the Fuel Conditioning Facility (FCF) located at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). INL, owned by the Department of Energy (DOE) and operated by the Battelle Energy Alliance (BEA), must comply with specific DOE orders regarding nuclear material control and accountability (DOE 2007). This order establishes a program […]

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Benefits of using models to design flowsheets

Unlike other components of a closed fuel cycle, the feedstock to the recy­cling facility has a great deal of variation whether its origin is SNF, or other high — or low-level wastes (legacy defense, medical, industrial, etc.). In addi­tion, the final product and/or waste form needs to meet very tight product specifications or waste acceptance criteria. Failure to do so […]

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