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Title: DIissolution of low enriched uranium from the experimental breeder reactor-II fuel stored at the Idaho National Laboratory

Abstract

The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is actively engaged in the development of electrochemical processing technology for the treatment of fast reactor fuels using irradiated fuel from the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II (EBR-II) as the primary test material. The research and development (R&D) activities generate a low enriched uranium (LEU) metal product from the electrorefining of the EBR-II fuel and the subsequent consolidation and removal of chloride salts by the cathode processor. The LEU metal ingots from past R&D activities are currently stored at INL awaiting disposition. One potential disposition pathway is the shipment of the ingots to the Savannah River Site (SRS) for dissolution in H-Canyon. Carbon steel cans containing the LEU metal would be loaded into reusable charging bundles in the H-Canyon Crane Maintenance Area and charged to the 6.4D or 6.1D dissolver. The LEU dissolution would be accomplished as the final charge in a dissolver batch (following the dissolution of multiple charges of spent nuclear fuel (SNF)). The solution would then be purified and the 235U enrichment downblended to allow use of the U in commercial reactor fuel. To support this potential disposition path, the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) developed a dissolution flowsheet for the LEU using samplesmore » of the material received from INL.« less

Authors:
 [1];  [1];  [1];  [1]
  1. Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States). Savannah River National Lab. (SRNL)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Savannah River Site (SRS), Aiken, SC (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1373546
Report Number(s):
SRNL-STI-2017-00263
TRN: US1800535
DOE Contract Number:
AC09-08SR22470
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; ENRICHED URANIUM; EBR-2 REACTOR; SPENT FUELS; ELECTROREFINING; INL; EBR-II; LEU; fuel dissolution; H-canyon

Citation Formats

Daniel, G., Rudisill, T., Almond, P., and O'Rourke, P.. DIissolution of low enriched uranium from the experimental breeder reactor-II fuel stored at the Idaho National Laboratory. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1373546.
Daniel, G., Rudisill, T., Almond, P., & O'Rourke, P.. DIissolution of low enriched uranium from the experimental breeder reactor-II fuel stored at the Idaho National Laboratory. United States. doi:10.2172/1373546.
Daniel, G., Rudisill, T., Almond, P., and O'Rourke, P.. Wed . "DIissolution of low enriched uranium from the experimental breeder reactor-II fuel stored at the Idaho National Laboratory". United States. doi:10.2172/1373546. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1373546.
@article{osti_1373546,
title = {DIissolution of low enriched uranium from the experimental breeder reactor-II fuel stored at the Idaho National Laboratory},
author = {Daniel, G. and Rudisill, T. and Almond, P. and O'Rourke, P.},
abstractNote = {The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is actively engaged in the development of electrochemical processing technology for the treatment of fast reactor fuels using irradiated fuel from the Experimental Breeder Reactor-II (EBR-II) as the primary test material. The research and development (R&D) activities generate a low enriched uranium (LEU) metal product from the electrorefining of the EBR-II fuel and the subsequent consolidation and removal of chloride salts by the cathode processor. The LEU metal ingots from past R&D activities are currently stored at INL awaiting disposition. One potential disposition pathway is the shipment of the ingots to the Savannah River Site (SRS) for dissolution in H-Canyon. Carbon steel cans containing the LEU metal would be loaded into reusable charging bundles in the H-Canyon Crane Maintenance Area and charged to the 6.4D or 6.1D dissolver. The LEU dissolution would be accomplished as the final charge in a dissolver batch (following the dissolution of multiple charges of spent nuclear fuel (SNF)). The solution would then be purified and the 235U enrichment downblended to allow use of the U in commercial reactor fuel. To support this potential disposition path, the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) developed a dissolution flowsheet for the LEU using samples of the material received from INL.},
doi = {10.2172/1373546},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Wed Jun 28 00:00:00 EDT 2017},
month = {Wed Jun 28 00:00:00 EDT 2017}
}

Technical Report:

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  • Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) was requested to evaluate the potential to receive and process the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) uranium (U) recovered from the Experimental Breeder Reactor II (EBR-II) driver fuel through the Savannah River Site’s (SRS) H-Canyon as a way to disposition the material. INL recovers the uranium from the sodium bonded metallic fuel irradiated in the EBR-II reactor using an electrorefining process. There were two compositions of EBR-II driver fuel. The early generation fuel was U-5Fs, which consisted of 95% U metal alloyed with 5% noble metal elements “fissium” (2.5% molybdenum, 2.0% ruthenium, 0.3% rhodium, 0.1% palladium,more » and 0.1% zirconium), while the later generation was U-10Zr which was 90% U metal alloyed with 10% zirconium. A potential concern during the H-Canyon nitric acid dissolution process of the U metal containing zirconium (Zr) is the explosive behavior that has been reported for alloys of these materials. For this reason, this evaluation was focused on the ability to process the lower Zr content materials, the U-5Fs material.« less
  • Since the capability to purify uranium (U) was terminated at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL) in the early 1990's, excess highly enriched uranium (HEU) from the cleanout of uranium trioxide (UO3) production equipment will be shipped to the Savannah River Site (SRS) for disposition. The excess material will be dissolved in Phase I of HB-Line, purified by solvent extraction, and blended with normal U to an enrichment which can be used to fabricate fuel for Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) reactors. The proposed HB-Line processing strategy is to dissolve up to 3 kg of material per 18 Lmore » dissolver batch. To demonstrate the proposed processing strategy, two samples of the HEU were shipped to the Savannah River Technology Center (SRTC). The material was used in a series of small-scale experiments in which prototypical amounts were dissolved to characterize the offgas and measure the dissolution time under varying process conditions. Complete dissolution of the U was obtained in 15-30 min for experiments performed at 23-60 degrees Celsius. The HEU was dissolved in 3.5M HNO3 using the solids to liquid ratio proposed for use in HB-Line. The experiment performed at 23 degrees Celsius demonstrated that rapid heat generation during the dissolution is not a concern.« less
  • Six uranium isotopes and fourteen fission product isotopes were calculated on a mass basis at end-of-life (EOL) conditions for three fuel rods from different Light Water Breeder Reactor (LWBR) measurements. The three fuel rods evaluated here were taken from an LWBR seed module, a standard blanket module, and a reflector (Type IV) module. The calculated results were derived using a depletion methodology previously employed to evaluate many of the radionuclide inventories for spent nuclear fuels at the Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory. The primary goal of the calculational task was to further support the validation of this particular calculationalmore » methodology and its application to diverse reactor types and fuels. Result comparisons between the calculated and measured mass concentrations in the three rods indicate good agreement for the three major uranium isotopes (U-233, U-234, U-235) with differences of less than 20%. For the seed and standard blanket rod, the U-233 and U-234 differences were within 5% of the measured values (these two isotopes alone represent greater than 97% of the EOL total uranium mass). For the major krypton and xenon fission product isotopes, differences of less than 20% and less than 30% were observed, respectively. In general, good agreement was obtained for nearly all the measured isotopes. For these isotopes exhibiting significant differences, possible explanations are discussed in terms of measurement uncertainty, complex transmutations, etc.« less
  • The specifications, materials, and sequence of operations used to found and fabricate the first charge of enriched U fuel in the Experimental Breeder Reactor are described. Deviations from the standard process are discussed. Quantitative data are presented to show the over-all yield of fuel from the process and the quantities of material in the residues. The method of ignition of turnings is described together with quantitative data on the operation. (auth)