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Title: Electrolytic Reduction of Spent Light Water Reactor Fuel Bench-Scale Experiment Results

Abstract

A series of experiments were performed to demonstrate the electrolytic reduction of spent light water reactor fuel at bench-scale in a hot cell at the Idaho National Laboratory Materials and Fuels Complex. The process involves the conversion of oxide fuel to metal by electrolytic means, which would then enable subsequent separation and recovery of actinides via existing electrometallurgical technologies, i.e., electrorefining. Four electrolytic reduction runs were performed at bench scale using ~500 ml of molten LiCl – 1 wt% Li2O electrolyte at 650 ºC. In each run, ~50 g of crushed spent oxide fuel was loaded into a permeable stainless steel basket and immersed into the electrolyte as the cathode. A spiral wound platinum wire was immersed into the electrolyte as the anode. When a controlled electric current was conducted through the anode and cathode, the oxide fuel was reduced to metal in the basket and oxygen gas was evolved at the anode. Salt samples were extracted before and after each electrolytic reduction run and analyzed for fuel and fission product constituents. The fuel baskets following each run were sectioned and the fuel was sampled, revealing an extent of uranium oxide reduction in excess of 98%.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
Sponsoring Org.:
DOE - NE
OSTI Identifier:
914582
Report Number(s):
INL/JOU-06-11324
Journal ID: ISSN 0022-3131; JNSTAX; TRN: US0803336
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC07-99ID-13727
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology (Japan); Journal Volume: 44; Journal Issue: 3
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 - NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; BENCH-SCALE EXPERIMENTS; ELECTRIC CURRENTS; FISSION PRODUCTS; HOT CELLS; NUCLEAR FUELS; STAINLESS STEELS; URANIUM OXIDES; WATER; electrolytic reduction; electrometallurgical treatment; lithium chloride; lithium oxide; oxide reduction; spent light water reactor fuel

Citation Formats

Steven D. Herrmann. Electrolytic Reduction of Spent Light Water Reactor Fuel Bench-Scale Experiment Results. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.3327/jnst.44.361.
Steven D. Herrmann. Electrolytic Reduction of Spent Light Water Reactor Fuel Bench-Scale Experiment Results. United States. doi:10.3327/jnst.44.361.
Steven D. Herrmann. Sun . "Electrolytic Reduction of Spent Light Water Reactor Fuel Bench-Scale Experiment Results". United States. doi:10.3327/jnst.44.361.
@article{osti_914582,
title = {Electrolytic Reduction of Spent Light Water Reactor Fuel Bench-Scale Experiment Results},
author = {Steven D. Herrmann},
abstractNote = {A series of experiments were performed to demonstrate the electrolytic reduction of spent light water reactor fuel at bench-scale in a hot cell at the Idaho National Laboratory Materials and Fuels Complex. The process involves the conversion of oxide fuel to metal by electrolytic means, which would then enable subsequent separation and recovery of actinides via existing electrometallurgical technologies, i.e., electrorefining. Four electrolytic reduction runs were performed at bench scale using ~500 ml of molten LiCl – 1 wt% Li2O electrolyte at 650 ºC. In each run, ~50 g of crushed spent oxide fuel was loaded into a permeable stainless steel basket and immersed into the electrolyte as the cathode. A spiral wound platinum wire was immersed into the electrolyte as the anode. When a controlled electric current was conducted through the anode and cathode, the oxide fuel was reduced to metal in the basket and oxygen gas was evolved at the anode. Salt samples were extracted before and after each electrolytic reduction run and analyzed for fuel and fission product constituents. The fuel baskets following each run were sectioned and the fuel was sampled, revealing an extent of uranium oxide reduction in excess of 98%.},
doi = {10.3327/jnst.44.361},
journal = {Journal of Nuclear Science and Technology (Japan)},
number = 3,
volume = 44,
place = {United States},
year = {Sun Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2007},
month = {Sun Apr 01 00:00:00 EDT 2007}
}