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Title: Electrochemical investigation into the mechanism of plutonium reduction in electrorefining

Abstract

Currently impure plutonium metal is purified at Los Alamos National Laboratory by a molten salt electrorefining process. Electrorefining is an effective method for producing high-purity plutonium metal (> 99.95%). In general this process involves the oxidation of impure plutonium metal from a molten plutonium anode or a solvent metal/plutonium anode, transport of plutonium ions through a molten salt electrolyte, and reduction of the plutonium ions at a tungsten cathode to pure plutonium metal. Purification of the plutonium metal from impurities is based on the difference in free energies of formation between the various metallic impurities associated with plutonium. To obtain a better understanding of the overall electrorefining process and its inefficiencies, an electrochemical investigation into the mechanism for plutonium reduction in a typical electrorefining environment was undertaken. Cyclic voltammetry was selected as the method for determining the electrode mechanism for plutonium reduction at tungsten electrodes. In addition to the standard electrorefining melt (equimolar NaCl-KCl), additional melts that were being investigated in our solvent anode work were also investigated. With insight gained from this investigation, it was hoped that a better selection of electrorefining operating parameters could be obtained.

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Lab., NM (USA)
OSTI Identifier:
6930689
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 6930689
Report Number(s):
CONF-8711195-
Journal ID: CODEN: TANSA; TRN: 88-028492
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Trans. Am. Nucl. Soc.; (United States); Journal Volume: 55; Conference: American Nuclear Society winter meeting, Los Angeles, CA, USA, 15 Nov 1987
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; ELECTROREFINING; CHEMICAL REACTION KINETICS; PLUTONIUM; EFFICIENCY; IMPURITIES; LASL; OXIDATION; REDUCTION; RESEARCH PROGRAMS; ACTINIDES; CHEMICAL REACTIONS; ELECTROLYSIS; ELEMENTS; KINETICS; LYSIS; METALS; NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS; PROCESSING; REACTION KINETICS; REFINING; TRANSURANIUM ELEMENTS; US AEC; US DOE; US ERDA; US ORGANIZATIONS 052001* -- Nuclear Fuels-- Waste Processing

Citation Formats

McCurry, L.E., and Moy, G.M.M.. Electrochemical investigation into the mechanism of plutonium reduction in electrorefining. United States: N. p., 1987. Web.
McCurry, L.E., & Moy, G.M.M.. Electrochemical investigation into the mechanism of plutonium reduction in electrorefining. United States.
McCurry, L.E., and Moy, G.M.M.. Thu . "Electrochemical investigation into the mechanism of plutonium reduction in electrorefining". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_6930689,
title = {Electrochemical investigation into the mechanism of plutonium reduction in electrorefining},
author = {McCurry, L.E. and Moy, G.M.M.},
abstractNote = {Currently impure plutonium metal is purified at Los Alamos National Laboratory by a molten salt electrorefining process. Electrorefining is an effective method for producing high-purity plutonium metal (> 99.95%). In general this process involves the oxidation of impure plutonium metal from a molten plutonium anode or a solvent metal/plutonium anode, transport of plutonium ions through a molten salt electrolyte, and reduction of the plutonium ions at a tungsten cathode to pure plutonium metal. Purification of the plutonium metal from impurities is based on the difference in free energies of formation between the various metallic impurities associated with plutonium. To obtain a better understanding of the overall electrorefining process and its inefficiencies, an electrochemical investigation into the mechanism for plutonium reduction in a typical electrorefining environment was undertaken. Cyclic voltammetry was selected as the method for determining the electrode mechanism for plutonium reduction at tungsten electrodes. In addition to the standard electrorefining melt (equimolar NaCl-KCl), additional melts that were being investigated in our solvent anode work were also investigated. With insight gained from this investigation, it was hoped that a better selection of electrorefining operating parameters could be obtained.},
doi = {},
journal = {Trans. Am. Nucl. Soc.; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 55,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1987},
month = {Thu Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 1987}
}

Conference:
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