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Title: Dry halide method for separating the components of spent nuclear fuels

Abstract

The invention is a nonaqueous, single method for processing multiple spent nuclear fuel types by separating the fission and transuranic products from the nonradioactive and fissile uranium product. The invention has four major operations: exposing the spent fuels to chlorine gas at temperatures preferably greater than 1200 C to form volatile metal chlorides; removal of the fission product chlorides, transuranic product chlorides, and any nickel chloride and chromium chloride in a molten salt scrubber at approximately 400 C; fractional condensation of the remaining volatile chlorides at temperatures ranging from 164 to 2 C; and regeneration and recovery of the transferred spent molten salt by vacuum distillation. The residual fission products, transuranic products, and nickel- and chromium chlorides are converted to fluorides or oxides for vitrification. The method offers the significant advantages of a single, compact process that is applicable to most of the diverse nuclear fuels, minimizes secondary wastes, segregates fissile uranium from the high level wastes to resolve potential criticality concerns, segregates nonradioactive wastes from the high level wastes for volume reduction, and produces a common waste form glass or glass-ceramic. 3 figs.

Inventors:
; ;
Issue Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE, Washington, DC (United States)
OSTI Identifier:
672516
Patent Number(s):
5774815
Application Number:
PAN: 8-696,187; TRN: 99:001061
Assignee:
Dept. of Energy, Washington, DC (United States)
DOE Contract Number:  
AC07-94ID13223
Resource Type:
Patent
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: 30 Jun 1998
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
05 NUCLEAR FUELS; SPENT FUELS; REPROCESSING; CHLORINE; URANIUM CHLORIDES; VAPOR CONDENSATION; MOLTEN SALTS; REGENERATION; VACUUM DISTILLATION; FLUORIDES; OXIDES; SYNTHESIS; VITRIFICATION; HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES

Citation Formats

Christian, J D, Thomas, T R, and Kessinger, G F. Dry halide method for separating the components of spent nuclear fuels. United States: N. p., 1998. Web.
Christian, J D, Thomas, T R, & Kessinger, G F. Dry halide method for separating the components of spent nuclear fuels. United States.
Christian, J D, Thomas, T R, and Kessinger, G F. Tue . "Dry halide method for separating the components of spent nuclear fuels". United States.
@article{osti_672516,
title = {Dry halide method for separating the components of spent nuclear fuels},
author = {Christian, J D and Thomas, T R and Kessinger, G F},
abstractNote = {The invention is a nonaqueous, single method for processing multiple spent nuclear fuel types by separating the fission and transuranic products from the nonradioactive and fissile uranium product. The invention has four major operations: exposing the spent fuels to chlorine gas at temperatures preferably greater than 1200 C to form volatile metal chlorides; removal of the fission product chlorides, transuranic product chlorides, and any nickel chloride and chromium chloride in a molten salt scrubber at approximately 400 C; fractional condensation of the remaining volatile chlorides at temperatures ranging from 164 to 2 C; and regeneration and recovery of the transferred spent molten salt by vacuum distillation. The residual fission products, transuranic products, and nickel- and chromium chlorides are converted to fluorides or oxides for vitrification. The method offers the significant advantages of a single, compact process that is applicable to most of the diverse nuclear fuels, minimizes secondary wastes, segregates fissile uranium from the high level wastes to resolve potential criticality concerns, segregates nonradioactive wastes from the high level wastes for volume reduction, and produces a common waste form glass or glass-ceramic. 3 figs.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1998},
month = {6}
}