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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.degree. 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.degree. C.; fractional condensation of the remaining volatile chlorides at temperatures ranging from 164.degree. C. to 2.degree. 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.

Inventors:
 [1];  [2];  [1]
  1. (Idaho Falls, ID)
  2. (Rigby, ID)
Issue Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID
OSTI Identifier:
871675
Patent Number(s):
5774815
Assignee:
United States of America as represented by United States (Washington, DC) INEEL
DOE Contract Number:  
AC07-94ID13223
Resource Type:
Patent
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
dry; halide; method; separating; components; spent; nuclear; fuels; nonaqueous; single; processing; multiple; fuel; types; fission-; transuranic; products; nonradioactive; fissile; uranium; product; major; operations; exposing; chlorine; gas; temperatures; preferably; 1200; degree; form; volatile; metal; chlorides; removal; fission; nickel; chloride; chromium; molten; salt; scrubber; approximately; 400; fractional; condensation; remaining; ranging; 164; regeneration; recovery; transferred; vacuum; distillation; residual; nickel-; converted; fluorides; oxides; vitrification; offers; significant; advantages; compact; process; applicable; diverse; minimizes; secondary; wastes; segregates; level; resolve; potential; criticality; concerns; volume; reduction; produces; common; waste; glass; glass-ceramic; significant advantages; metal chlorides; form volatile; nuclear fuels; waste form; metal chloride; fission product; fission products; nuclear fuel; molten salt; spent nuclear; spent fuel; radioactive waste; radioactive wastes; spent molten; temperatures ranging; vacuum distillation; chlorine gas; secondary wastes; significant advantage; level waste; uranium product; spent fuels; volatile metal; volume reduction; nickel chloride; secondary waste; /588/95/

Citation Formats

Christian, Jerry Dale, Thomas, Thomas Russell, and Kessinger, Glen F. Dry halide method for separating the components of spent nuclear fuels. United States: N. p., 1998. Web.
Christian, Jerry Dale, Thomas, Thomas Russell, & Kessinger, Glen F. Dry halide method for separating the components of spent nuclear fuels. United States.
Christian, Jerry Dale, Thomas, Thomas Russell, and Kessinger, Glen F. Thu . "Dry halide method for separating the components of spent nuclear fuels". United States. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/871675.
@article{osti_871675,
title = {Dry halide method for separating the components of spent nuclear fuels},
author = {Christian, Jerry Dale and Thomas, Thomas Russell and Kessinger, Glen 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.degree. 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.degree. C.; fractional condensation of the remaining volatile chlorides at temperatures ranging from 164.degree. C. to 2.degree. 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.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1998},
month = {1}
}

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