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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 from 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:
 [1];  [1]
  1. Los Alamos, NM
Issue Date:
Research Org.:
Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL), Los Alamos, NM
OSTI Identifier:
865084
Patent Number(s):
4459153
Assignee:
United States of America as represented by United States (Washington, DC)
DOE Contract Number:  
W-7405-ENG-36
Resource Type:
Patent
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
pyrochemical; process; extracting; plutonium; electrolyte; salt; plutonium-bearing; disclosed; particularly; useful; recovery; salts; left; electrorefining; accordance; melted; mixed; metallic; calcium; reduces; ionized; metal; causes; typically; finely; dispersed; shot; coalesce; reduced; coalesced; separates; bottom; reaction; vessel; separate; phase; readily; separable; overlying; cooling; mixture; yields; 95; stripped; virtually; free; discarded; low-level; waste; storage; metallic phase; particularly useful; reaction vessel; plutonium metal; waste storage; chemical process; separate metallic; level waste; electrolyte salt; electrolyte salts; low-level waste; pyrochemical process; extracting plutonium; separate metal; /75/

Citation Formats

Mullins, Lawrence J, and Christensen, Dana C. Pyrochemical process for extracting plutonium from an electrolyte salt. United States: N. p., 1984. Web.
Mullins, Lawrence J, & Christensen, Dana C. Pyrochemical process for extracting plutonium from an electrolyte salt. United States.
Mullins, Lawrence J, and Christensen, Dana C. Sun . "Pyrochemical process for extracting plutonium from an electrolyte salt". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/865084.
@article{osti_865084,
title = {Pyrochemical process for extracting plutonium from an electrolyte salt},
author = {Mullins, Lawrence J and Christensen, Dana 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 from 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 = {1984},
month = {1}
}

Patent:

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