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Title: Recovery of UO.sub.2 /Pu O.sub.2 in IFR electrorefining process

A process for converting PuO.sub.2 and UO.sub.2 present in an electrorefiner to the chlorides, by contacting the PuO.sub.2 and UO.sub.2 with Li metal in the presence of an alkali metal chloride salt substantially free of rare earth and actinide chlorides for a time and at a temperature sufficient to convert the UO.sub.2 and PuO.sub.2 to metals while converting Li metal to Li.sub.2 O. Li.sub.2 O is removed either by reducing with rare earth metals or by providing an oxygen electrode for transporting O.sub.2 out of the electrorefiner and a cathode, and thereafter applying an emf to the electrorefiner electrodes sufficient to cause the Li.sub.2 O to disassociate to O.sub.2 and Li metal but insufficient to decompose the alkali metal chloride salt. The U and Pu and excess lithium are then converted to chlorides by reaction with CdCl.sub.2.
Inventors:
 [1];  [2]
  1. (Lockport, IL)
  2. (Naperville, IL)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
869560
Assignee:
United States of America as represented by United States (Washington, DC) ANL
Patent Number(s):
US 5356605
Contract Number:
W-31109-ENG-38
Research Org:
Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Argonne, IL
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
recovery; uo; ifr; electrorefining; process; converting; puo; electrorefiner; chlorides; contacting; metal; presence; alkali; chloride; salt; substantially; free; rare; earth; actinide; time; temperature; sufficient; convert; metals; removed; reducing; providing; oxygen; electrode; transporting; cathode; thereafter; applying; emf; electrodes; disassociate; insufficient; decompose; excess; lithium; converted; reaction; cdcl; oxygen electrode; metal chloride; substantially free; alkali metal; rare earth; earth metal; temperature sufficient; earth metals; chloride salt; refining process; electrodes sufficient; electrorefining process; excess lithium; /423/75/