SRP thorium processing experience
SRP thorium processing experience In the five separate thorium processing campaigns conducted at SRP, thorium was processed in equipment and facilities which had been converted in 1959 to recover highly enriched uranium. Two different flowsheets were used and a total of approximately 240 tons of thorium and 580 kg of uranium was processed. In the first two campaigns (initial campaigns), uranium was recovered with a dilute 3.5% TBP flowsheet and the thorium was sent to waste. In these two initial campaigns, the irradiation conditions for the thorium metal resulted in concentrations of 40 to 50 ppM and 200 ppM /sup 232/U in different batches of the product uranium. In the first of the last three campaigns (Thorex campaigns), thorium metal and thorium oxide were processed. Thorium oxide was processed in the remaining two Thorex campaigns. The three Thorex campaigns used 30% TBP to recover both uranium and thorium. Irradiation conditions were set to produce a concentration of 4 to 7 ppM /sup 232/U. Dissolving rates for thorium metal exceeded 4 tons/day and with thorium sent to waste, solvent extraction rates increased and posed no limits. Dissolving and Thorex solvent extraction rates were approximately 1 ton/day when thorium oxide feed was used. Studies to increase more »
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