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Title: High-throughput electrorefiner for recovery of U and U/TRU product from spent fuel

Abstract

The present invention provides a method of simultaneously removing uranium and transuranics from metallic nuclear fuel in an electrorefiner. In the method, a potential difference is established between an anode basket containing the fuel and a solid cathode of the electrorefiner, thereby creating a diffusion layer of uranium and transuranic ions at the solid cathode, a first current density at the anode basket, and a second current density at the solid cathode. The ratio of anode basket area to solid cathode area is selected based on the total concentration of uranium and transuranic metals in a molten halide electrolyte in the electrorefiner and the effective thickness of the diffusion layer at the solid cathode, such that the established first and second current densities result in both codeposition of uranium and transuranic metals on the solid cathode and oxidation of the metallic nuclear fuel in the anode basket.

Inventors:
;
Issue Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1531714
Patent Number(s):
8097142
Application Number:
12/395,777
Assignee:
UChicago Argonne, LLC (Chicago, IL)
Patent Classifications (CPCs):
C - CHEMISTRY C25 - ELECTROLYTIC OR ELECTROPHORETIC PROCESSES C25C - PROCESSES FOR THE ELECTROLYTIC PRODUCTION, RECOVERY OR REFINING OF METALS
DOE Contract Number:  
AC02-06CH11357; W-31-109-ENG-38
Resource Type:
Patent
Resource Relation:
Patent File Date: 2009-03-02
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS

Citation Formats

Willit, James L., and Williamson, Mark A. High-throughput electrorefiner for recovery of U and U/TRU product from spent fuel. United States: N. p., 2012. Web.
Willit, James L., & Williamson, Mark A. High-throughput electrorefiner for recovery of U and U/TRU product from spent fuel. United States.
Willit, James L., and Williamson, Mark A. Tue . "High-throughput electrorefiner for recovery of U and U/TRU product from spent fuel". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1531714.
@article{osti_1531714,
title = {High-throughput electrorefiner for recovery of U and U/TRU product from spent fuel},
author = {Willit, James L. and Williamson, Mark A.},
abstractNote = {The present invention provides a method of simultaneously removing uranium and transuranics from metallic nuclear fuel in an electrorefiner. In the method, a potential difference is established between an anode basket containing the fuel and a solid cathode of the electrorefiner, thereby creating a diffusion layer of uranium and transuranic ions at the solid cathode, a first current density at the anode basket, and a second current density at the solid cathode. The ratio of anode basket area to solid cathode area is selected based on the total concentration of uranium and transuranic metals in a molten halide electrolyte in the electrorefiner and the effective thickness of the diffusion layer at the solid cathode, such that the established first and second current densities result in both codeposition of uranium and transuranic metals on the solid cathode and oxidation of the metallic nuclear fuel in the anode basket.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2012},
month = {1}
}

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