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Title: Advanced electrorefiner design

A combination anode and cathode for an electrorefiner which includes a hollow cathode and an anode positioned inside the hollow cathode such that a portion of the anode is near the cathode. A retaining member is positioned at the bottom of the cathode. Mechanism is included for providing relative movement between the anode and the cathode during deposition of metal on the inside surface of the cathode during operation of the electrorefiner to refine spent nuclear fuel. A method is also disclosed which includes electrical power means selectively connectable to the anode and the hollow cathode for providing electrical power to the cell components, electrically transferring uranium values and plutonium values from the anode to the electrolyte, and electrolytically depositing substantially pure uranium on the hollow cathode. Uranium and plutonium are deposited at a liquid cathode together after the PuCl.sub.3 to UCl.sub.3 ratio is greater than 2:1. Slots in the hollow cathode provides close anode access for the liquid pool in the liquid cathode.
Inventors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. (Naperville, IL)
  2. (Park Forest, IL)
  3. (Lockport, IL)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
870491
Assignee:
United States of America as represented by United States (Washington, DC) ANL
Patent Number(s):
US 5531868
Contract Number:
W-31109-ENG-38
Research Org:
Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Argonne, IL
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
advanced; electrorefiner; design; combination; anode; cathode; hollow; positioned; inside; portion; near; retaining; bottom; mechanism; included; providing; relative; movement; deposition; metal; surface; operation; refine; spent; nuclear; fuel; method; disclosed; electrical; power; means; selectively; connectable; cell; components; electrically; transferring; uranium; values; plutonium; electrolyte; electrolytically; depositing; substantially; pure; deposited; liquid; pucl; ucl; ratio; slots; provides; close; access; pool; positioned inside; cell component; plutonium values; liquid pool; pure uranium; cell components; hollow cathode; inside surface; substantially pure; electrical power; nuclear fuel; spent nuclear; relative movement; uranium values; providing electrical; liquid cathode; selectively connect; /205/204/976/