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Title: Pyrochemical process for extracting plutonium from an electrolyte salt

Abstract

A pyrochemical process for extracting plutonium from a plutonium-bearing salt is disclosed. The process is particularly useful in the recovery of plutonium for electrolyte salts which are left over from the electrorefining of plutonium. In accordance with the process, the plutonium-bearing salt is melted and mixed with metallic calcium. The calcium reduces ionized plutonium in the salt to plutonium metal, and also causes metallic plutonium in the salt, which is typically present as finely dispersed metallic shot, to coalesce. The reduced and coalesced plutonium separates out on the bottom of the reaction vessel as a separate metallic phase which is readily separable from the overlying salt upon cooling of the mixture. Yields of plutonium are typically on the order of 95%. The stripped salt is virtually free of plutonium and may be discarded to low-level waste storage.

Inventors:
;
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
5618262
Application Number:
ON: DE83018062
Assignee:
ERA-08-054243; EDB-83-177226
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-36
Resource Type:
Patent
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; PLUTONIUM; ELECTROREFINING; RECOVERY; CALCIUM; MOLTEN SALTS; POTASSIUM CHLORIDES; REDUCTION; SCRAP METALS; SODIUM CHLORIDES; ACTINIDES; ALKALI METAL COMPOUNDS; ALKALINE EARTH METALS; CHEMICAL REACTIONS; CHLORIDES; CHLORINE COMPOUNDS; ELECTROLYSIS; ELEMENTS; HALIDES; HALOGEN COMPOUNDS; LYSIS; METALS; POTASSIUM COMPOUNDS; PROCESSING; REFINING; SALTS; SCRAP; SODIUM COMPOUNDS; SOLID WASTES; TRANSURANIUM ELEMENTS; WASTES; 360101* - Metals & Alloys- Preparation & Fabrication; 050700 - Nuclear Fuels- Fuels Production & Properties

Citation Formats

Mullins, L.J., and Christensen, D.C. Pyrochemical process for extracting plutonium from an electrolyte salt. United States: N. p., 1982. Web.
Mullins, L.J., & Christensen, D.C. Pyrochemical process for extracting plutonium from an electrolyte salt. United States.
Mullins, L.J., and Christensen, D.C. Mon . "Pyrochemical process for extracting plutonium from an electrolyte salt". United States.
@article{osti_5618262,
title = {Pyrochemical process for extracting plutonium from an electrolyte salt},
author = {Mullins, L.J. and Christensen, D.C.},
abstractNote = {A pyrochemical process for extracting plutonium from a plutonium-bearing salt is disclosed. The process is particularly useful in the recovery of plutonium for electrolyte salts which are left over from the electrorefining of plutonium. In accordance with the process, the plutonium-bearing salt is melted and mixed with metallic calcium. The calcium reduces ionized plutonium in the salt to plutonium metal, and also causes metallic plutonium in the salt, which is typically present as finely dispersed metallic shot, to coalesce. The reduced and coalesced plutonium separates out on the bottom of the reaction vessel as a separate metallic phase which is readily separable from the overlying salt upon cooling of the mixture. Yields of plutonium are typically on the order of 95%. The stripped salt is virtually free of plutonium and may be discarded to low-level waste storage.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1982},
month = {9}
}