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Title: Closing the Nuclear Fuel Cycle with a Simplified Minor Actinide Lanthanide Separation Process (ALSEP) and Additive Manufacturing

Abstract

Expanded low-carbon baseload power production through the use of nuclear fission can be enabled by recycling long-lived actinide isotopes within the nuclear fuel cycle. This approach provides the benefits of a) more complete utilization of the energy potential of mined uranium, b) reduced footprint of nuclear geological repositories, and c) reduction in the radiotoxicity decay time for the disposed waste from one hundred thousand years to a few hundred years. A key step in achieving this goal is the separation of long-lived isotopes of americium and curium for recycle into fast reactors. To achieve this goal, a novel process was successfully demonstrated on a lab scale using a bank of 1.25-cm centrifugal contactors, fabricated by additive manufacturing, and a simulant containing the major fission products. Am and Cm were separated from the lanthanides with over 99.9% completion. The sum of the impurities of the Am/Cm product stream was found to be 3.2.10-3 g/L. The process performance was successfully validated using a genuine high burnup used nuclear fuel raffinate in a batch regime. Separation factors of nearly 100 for 154Eu over 241Am and were achieved. All these results indicate the process scalability to engineering scale.

Authors:
 [1]; ORCiD logo [2];  [2];  [2];  [2];  [3]; ORCiD logo [3];  [3]; ORCiD logo [3];  [3]
  1. Univ. of Nevada, Las Vegas, NV (United States). Radiochemistry Program, Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry
  2. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Chemical and Fuel Cycle Technology Div.
  3. Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States). Nuclear Science Div.
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States); Pacific Northwest National Lab. (PNNL), Richland, WA (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1575066
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1708854
Report Number(s):
PNNL-SA-139206
Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322; 153675; TRN: US2100310
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-06CH11357; AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Scientific Reports
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 9; Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2045-2322
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; fuel recycle, ALSEP, actinide separation

Citation Formats

Gelis, Artem V., Kozak, Peter, Breshears, Andrew T., Brown, M. Alex, Launiere, Cari, Campbell, Emily L., Hall, Gabriel B., Levitskaia, Tatiana G., Holfeltz, Vanessa E., and Lumetta, Gregg J. Closing the Nuclear Fuel Cycle with a Simplified Minor Actinide Lanthanide Separation Process (ALSEP) and Additive Manufacturing. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-48619-x.
Gelis, Artem V., Kozak, Peter, Breshears, Andrew T., Brown, M. Alex, Launiere, Cari, Campbell, Emily L., Hall, Gabriel B., Levitskaia, Tatiana G., Holfeltz, Vanessa E., & Lumetta, Gregg J. Closing the Nuclear Fuel Cycle with a Simplified Minor Actinide Lanthanide Separation Process (ALSEP) and Additive Manufacturing. United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-48619-x.
Gelis, Artem V., Kozak, Peter, Breshears, Andrew T., Brown, M. Alex, Launiere, Cari, Campbell, Emily L., Hall, Gabriel B., Levitskaia, Tatiana G., Holfeltz, Vanessa E., and Lumetta, Gregg J. Fri . "Closing the Nuclear Fuel Cycle with a Simplified Minor Actinide Lanthanide Separation Process (ALSEP) and Additive Manufacturing". United States. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-48619-x. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1575066.
@article{osti_1575066,
title = {Closing the Nuclear Fuel Cycle with a Simplified Minor Actinide Lanthanide Separation Process (ALSEP) and Additive Manufacturing},
author = {Gelis, Artem V. and Kozak, Peter and Breshears, Andrew T. and Brown, M. Alex and Launiere, Cari and Campbell, Emily L. and Hall, Gabriel B. and Levitskaia, Tatiana G. and Holfeltz, Vanessa E. and Lumetta, Gregg J.},
abstractNote = {Expanded low-carbon baseload power production through the use of nuclear fission can be enabled by recycling long-lived actinide isotopes within the nuclear fuel cycle. This approach provides the benefits of a) more complete utilization of the energy potential of mined uranium, b) reduced footprint of nuclear geological repositories, and c) reduction in the radiotoxicity decay time for the disposed waste from one hundred thousand years to a few hundred years. A key step in achieving this goal is the separation of long-lived isotopes of americium and curium for recycle into fast reactors. To achieve this goal, a novel process was successfully demonstrated on a lab scale using a bank of 1.25-cm centrifugal contactors, fabricated by additive manufacturing, and a simulant containing the major fission products. Am and Cm were separated from the lanthanides with over 99.9% completion. The sum of the impurities of the Am/Cm product stream was found to be 3.2.10-3 g/L. The process performance was successfully validated using a genuine high burnup used nuclear fuel raffinate in a batch regime. Separation factors of nearly 100 for 154Eu over 241Am and were achieved. All these results indicate the process scalability to engineering scale.},
doi = {10.1038/s41598-019-48619-x},
journal = {Scientific Reports},
number = 1,
volume = 9,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {9}
}

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