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Title: Process for continuous production of metallic uranium and uranium alloys

A method is described for forming metallic uranium, or a uranium alloy, from uranium oxide in a manner which substantially eliminates the formation of uranium-containing wastes. A source of uranium dioxide is first provided, for example, by reducing uranium trioxide (UO{sub 3}), or any other substantially stable uranium oxide, to form the uranium dioxide (UO{sub 2}). This uranium dioxide is then chlorinated to form uranium tetrachloride (UCl{sub 4}), and the uranium tetrachloride is then reduced to metallic uranium by reacting the uranium chloride with a metal which will form the chloride of the metal. This last step may be carried out in the presence of another metal capable of forming one or more alloys with metallic uranium to thereby lower the melting point of the reduced uranium product. The metal chloride formed during the uranium tetrachloride reduction step may then be reduced in an electrolysis cell to recover and recycle the metal back to the uranium tetrachloride reduction operation and the chlorine gas back to the uranium dioxide chlorination operation. 4 figs.
Inventors:
; ;
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
63435
Assignee:
Dept. of Energy, Washington, DC (United States) PTO; SCA: 050800; PA: EDB-95:089198; SN: 95001401186
Patent Number(s):
US 5,421,855/A/
Application Number:
PAN: 8-067,909
Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-48
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 6 Jun 1995
Research Org:
University of California
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
05 NUCLEAR FUELS; URANIUM DIOXIDE; CHLORINATION; URANIUM CHLORIDES; REDUCTION; URANIUM; PRODUCTION; URANIUM ALLOYS; METALS; RECYCLING; CHLORINE; MINIMIZATION; ELECTROLYTIC CELLS; URANIUM RECYCLE

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