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Title: Plutonium partitioning in uranium and plutonium co-recovery system for fast reactor fuel recycling with enhanced nuclear proliferation resistance

Abstract

For enhancement of nuclear proliferation resistance, a 'co-processing' method for U and Pu co-recovery was studied. Two concepts, no U scrubbing and no Pu reduction partitioning, were employed to formulate two types of flow sheets by using a calculation code. Their process performance was demonstrated using radioactive solutions derived from an irradiated fast reactor fuel. These experimental results indicated that U and Pu were co-recovered in the U/Pu product, and the Pu content in the U/Pu product increased approximately 2.3 times regardless of using reductant. The proposed no U scrubbing and no Pu reductant flow sheet is applicable to fast reactor fuel reprocessing and enhances its resistance to nuclear proliferation. (authors)

Authors:
; ;  [1]
  1. Japan Atomic Energy Agency: 4-33 Muramatsu, Naka-gun, Tokai-mura, Ibaraki 319-1194 (Japan)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
American Nuclear Society, 555 North Kensington Avenue, La Grange Park, IL 60526 (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
22257905
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Conference: GLOBAL 2013: International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Conference - Nuclear Energy at a Crossroads, Salt Lake City, UT (United States), 29 Sep - 3 Oct 2013; Other Information: Country of input: France; 7 refs.; Related Information: In: Proceedings of GLOBAL 2013: International Nuclear Fuel Cycle Conference - Nuclear Energy at a Crossroads| 1633 p.
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; APPROXIMATIONS; FAST REACTORS; FLOWSHEETS; IRRADIATION; NUCLEAR FUELS; PARTITION; PLUTONIUM; PROLIFERATION; REPROCESSING; URANIUM

Citation Formats

Nakahara, Masaumi, Koma, Yoshikazu, and Nakajima, Yasuo. Plutonium partitioning in uranium and plutonium co-recovery system for fast reactor fuel recycling with enhanced nuclear proliferation resistance. United States: N. p., 2013. Web.
Nakahara, Masaumi, Koma, Yoshikazu, & Nakajima, Yasuo. Plutonium partitioning in uranium and plutonium co-recovery system for fast reactor fuel recycling with enhanced nuclear proliferation resistance. United States.
Nakahara, Masaumi, Koma, Yoshikazu, and Nakajima, Yasuo. 2013. "Plutonium partitioning in uranium and plutonium co-recovery system for fast reactor fuel recycling with enhanced nuclear proliferation resistance". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_22257905,
title = {Plutonium partitioning in uranium and plutonium co-recovery system for fast reactor fuel recycling with enhanced nuclear proliferation resistance},
author = {Nakahara, Masaumi and Koma, Yoshikazu and Nakajima, Yasuo},
abstractNote = {For enhancement of nuclear proliferation resistance, a 'co-processing' method for U and Pu co-recovery was studied. Two concepts, no U scrubbing and no Pu reduction partitioning, were employed to formulate two types of flow sheets by using a calculation code. Their process performance was demonstrated using radioactive solutions derived from an irradiated fast reactor fuel. These experimental results indicated that U and Pu were co-recovered in the U/Pu product, and the Pu content in the U/Pu product increased approximately 2.3 times regardless of using reductant. The proposed no U scrubbing and no Pu reductant flow sheet is applicable to fast reactor fuel reprocessing and enhances its resistance to nuclear proliferation. (authors)},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2013,
month = 7
}

Conference:
Other availability
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  • Argonne National Laboratory has developed an electrorefining pyrochemical process for recovery and recycle of metal fuel discharged from the Integral Fast Reactor (FR). This inherently low decontamination process has an overall decontamination factor of only about 100 for the plutonium metal product. As a result, all of the fuel cycle operations must be conducted in heavily shielded cells containing a high-purity argon atmosphere. The FR fuel cycle possesses high resistance to clandestine diversion or overt, state- supported removal of plutonium for nuclear weapons production because of two main factors: the highly radioactive product, which is also contaminated with heat- andmore » neutron-producing isotopes of plutonium and other actinide elements, and the difficulty of removing material from the FR facility through the limited number of cell transfer locks without detection.« less
  • The US, through the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership, is currently engaged in efforts aimed at closing the nuclear fuel cycle. Neptunium behavior is important to understand for transuranic recycling because of its complex oxidation chemistry. The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is investigating neptunium oxidation chemistry in the context of the PUREX process. Neptunium extraction in the PUREX process relies on maintaining either IV or V oxidation states. Qualitative conversion of neptunium(V) to neptunium(VI) was achieved within 5 hours in 6 M nitric acid at 95 deg. C. However, the VI state was not maintained during a batch contact test simulatingmore » the PUREX process and neptunium reduced to the V state, rendering it inextractable. Vanadium(V) was found to be effective in maintaining neptunium(VI) by adding it to a simulated irradiated nuclear fuel feed in 6 M nitric acid and to the scrub acid in the batch contact simulation of the PUREX process. Computer simulations of the PUREX process with a typical irradiated nuclear fuel in 6 M nitric acid as feed indicated little impact of the higher acid concentration on the behavior of fission products of moderate extractability. We plan to perform countercurrent tests of this modified PUREX process in the near future. (authors)« less
  • The PUREX process has been progressively and continuously improved during the past three decades, and these improvements account for successful commercialization of reprocessing in a few countries. The renewed interest in nuclear energy and the international growth of nuclear electricity generation do not equate – and should not be equated -with increasing proliferation risks. Indeed, the nuclear renaissance presents a unique opportunity to enhance the culture of non-proliferation. With the recent revival of interest in nuclear technology, technical methods for prevention of nuclear proliferation are being revisited. Robust strategies to develop new advanced separation technologies are emerging worldwide for sustainabilitymore » and advancement of nuclear energy with enhanced proliferation resistance. On the other hand, at this moment, there are no proliferation resistance advanced technologies. . Until now proliferation resistance as it applies to reprocessing has been focused on not separating a pure stream of weapons-usable plutonium. France, as an example, has proposed a variant of the PUREX process, the COEX TM process, which does not result on a pure plutonium product stream. A further step is to implement a process based on group extraction of actinides and fission products associated with a homogeneous recycling strategy (UNEX process in the US, GANEX process in France). Such scheme will most likely not be deployable on an industrial scale before 2030 or so because it requires intensive R&D and robust flowsheets. Finally, future generation recycling schemes will handle the used nuclear fuel in fast neutron reactors. This means that the plutonium throughput of the recycling process may increase. The need is obvious for advanced aqueous recycling technologies that are intrinsically more proliferation resistant than the commercial PUREX process. In this paper, we review the actual PUREX process along with the advanced recycling technologies that will enhance technical barriers, making plutonium diversion more difficult by not isolating plutonium or/and coexistence of fission products with plutonium.« less
  • A new process is proposed that converts complex feeds containing fissile materials into a chemical form that allows the use of existing technologies (such as PUREX and ion exchange) to recover the fissile materials and convert the resultant wastes to glass. Potential feed materials include (1) plutonium scrap and residue, (2) miscellaneous spent nuclear fuel, and (3) uranium fissile wastes. The initial feed materials may contain mixtures of metals, ceramics, amorphous solids, halides, and organics. 14 refs., 4 figs.