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Title: Feasibility of processing the experimental breeder reactor-II driver fuel from the Idaho National Laboratory through Savannah River Site's H-Canyon facility

Abstract

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, 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.

Authors:
 [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:
1374364
Report Number(s):
SRNL-STI-2017-00420
DOE Contract Number:
AC09-08SR22470
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
21 SPECIFIC NUCLEAR REACTORS AND ASSOCIATED PLANTS; EBR-II

Citation Formats

Magoulas, V. E. Feasibility of processing the experimental breeder reactor-II driver fuel from the Idaho National Laboratory through Savannah River Site's H-Canyon facility. United States: N. p., 2017. Web. doi:10.2172/1374364.
Magoulas, V. E. Feasibility of processing the experimental breeder reactor-II driver fuel from the Idaho National Laboratory through Savannah River Site's H-Canyon facility. United States. doi:10.2172/1374364.
Magoulas, V. E. 2017. "Feasibility of processing the experimental breeder reactor-II driver fuel from the Idaho National Laboratory through Savannah River Site's H-Canyon facility". United States. doi:10.2172/1374364. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1374364.
@article{osti_1374364,
title = {Feasibility of processing the experimental breeder reactor-II driver fuel from the Idaho National Laboratory through Savannah River Site's H-Canyon facility},
author = {Magoulas, V. E.},
abstractNote = {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, 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.},
doi = {10.2172/1374364},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2017,
month = 7
}

Technical Report:

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  • 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 Sitemore » (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.« less
  • The US Department of Energy (DOE) is engaged in two related decision making processes concerning: (1) the transportation, receipt, processing, and storage of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) at the DOE Idaho National Engineering Laboratory (INEL) which will focus on the next 10 years; and (2) programmatic decisions on future spent nuclear fuel management which will emphasize the next 40 years. DOE is analyzing the environmental consequences of these spent nuclear fuel management actions in this two-volume Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Volume 1 supports broad programmatic decisions that will have applicability across the DOE complex and describes in detail the purposemore » and need for this DOE action. Volume 2 is specific to actions at the INEL. This document, which limits its discussion to the Savannah River Site (SRS) spent nuclear fuel management program, supports Volume 1 of the EIS. Following the introduction, Chapter 2 contains background information related to the SRS and the framework of environmental regulations pertinent to spent nuclear fuel management. Chapter 3 identifies spent nuclear fuel management alternatives that DOE could implement at the SRS, and summarizes their potential environmental consequences. Chapter 4 describes the existing environmental resources of the SRS that spent nuclear fuel activities could affect. Chapter 5 analyzes in detail the environmental consequences of each spent nuclear fuel management alternative and describes cumulative impacts. The chapter also contains information on unavoidable adverse impacts, commitment of resources, short-term use of the environment and mitigation measures.« less
  • This report describes conditions, as required by the state of Idaho Industrial Wastewater Reuse Permit (LA 000161 01, Modification B), for the wastewater land application site at the Idaho National Laboratory Site's Advanced Test Reactor Complex Cold Waste Pond from November 1, 2010 through October 31, 2011. The report contains the following information: Facility and system description Permit required effluent monitoring data and loading rates Groundwater monitoring data Status of compliance activities Noncompliance and other issues Discussion of the facility's environmental impacts During the 2011 permit year, approximately 166 million gallons of wastewater were discharged to the Cold Waste Pond.more » This is well below the maximum annual permit limit of 375 million gallons. As shown by the groundwater sampling data, sulfate and total dissolved solids concentrations are highest near the Cold Waste Pond and decrease rapidly as the distance from the Cold Waste Pond increases. Although concentrations of sulfate and total dissolved solids are elevated near the Cold Waste Pond, both parameters were below the Ground Water Quality Rule Secondary Constituent Standards in the down gradient monitoring wells.« less
  • This report describes conditions, as required by the state of Idaho Industrial Wastewater Reuse Permit (#LA 000161 01, Modification B), for the wastewater land application site at the Idaho National Laboratory Site’s Advanced Test Reactor Complex Cold Waste Pond from November 1, 2011 through October 31, 2012. The report contains the following information: Facility and system description Permit required effluent monitoring data and loading rates Groundwater monitoring data Status of compliance activities Noncompliance issues Discussion of the facility’s environmental impacts During the 2012 permit year, approximately 183 million gallons of wastewater were discharged to the Cold Waste Pond. This ismore » well below the maximum annual permit limit of 375 million gallons. As shown by the groundwater sampling data, sulfate and total dissolved solids concentrations are highest near the Cold Waste Pond and decrease rapidly as the distance from the Cold Waste Pond increases. Although concentrations of sulfate and total dissolved solids are elevated near the Cold Waste Pond, both parameters were below the Ground Water Quality Rule Secondary Constituent Standards in the down gradient monitoring wells.« 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