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Title: Electrolytic recovery of reactor metal fuel

A new electrolytic process and apparatus are provided using sodium, cerium or a similar metal in alloy or within a sodium beta or beta"-alumina sodium ion conductor to electrolytically displace each of the spent fuel metals except for cesium and strontium on a selective basis from the electrolyte to an inert metal cathode. Each of the metals can be deposited separately. An electrolytic transfer of spent fuel into the electrolyte includes a sodium or cerium salt in the electrolyte with sodium or cerium alloy being deposited on the cathode during the transfer of the metals from the spent fuel. The cathode with the deposit of sodium or cerium alloy is then chanted to an anode and the reverse transfer is carried out on a selective basis with each metal being deposited separately at the cathode. The result is that the sodium or cerium needed for the process is regenerated in the first step and no additional source of these reactants is required.
Inventors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. (Naperville, IL)
  2. (Lockport, IL)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
869503
Assignee:
United States of America as represented by United States (Washington, DC) ANL
Patent Number(s):
US 5348626
Contract Number:
W-31109-ENG-38
Research Org:
Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Argonne, IL
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
electrolytic; recovery; reactor; metal; fuel; process; apparatus; provided; sodium; cerium; similar; alloy; beta; -alumina; conductor; electrolytically; displace; spent; metals; cesium; strontium; selective; basis; electrolyte; inert; cathode; deposited; separately; transfer; salt; deposit; chanted; anode; reverse; carried; result; regenerated; step; additional; source; reactants; required; electrolytic process; spent fuel; metal cathode; -alumina sodium; inert metal; reactor metal; metal fuel; electrolytic recovery; similar metal; /205/