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Title: Waste Treatment of Acidic Solutions from the Dissolution of Irradiated LEU Targets for 99-Mo Production

One of the missions of the Reduced Enrichment for Research and Test Reactors (RERTR) program (and now the National Nuclear Security Administrations Material Management and Minimization program) is to facilitate the use of low enriched uranium (LEU) targets for 99Mo production. The conversion from highly enriched uranium (HEU) to LEU targets will require five to six times more uranium to produce an equivalent amount of 99Mo. The work discussed here addresses the technical challenges encountered in the treatment of uranyl nitrate hexahydrate (UNH)/nitric acid solutions remaining after the dissolution of LEU targets. Specifically, the focus of this work is the calcination of the uranium waste from 99Mo production using LEU foil targets and the Modified Cintichem Process. Work with our calciner system showed that high furnace temperature, a large vent tube, and a mechanical shield are beneficial for calciner operation. One- and two-step direct calcination processes were evaluated. The high-temperature one-step process led to contamination of the calciner system. The two-step direct calcination process operated stably and resulted in a relatively large amount of material in the calciner cup. Chemically assisted calcination using peroxide was rejected for further work due to the difficulty in handling the products. Chemically assisted calcinationmore » using formic acid was rejected due to unstable operation. Chemically assisted calcination using oxalic acid was recommended, although a better understanding of its chemistry is needed. Overall, this work showed that the two-step direct calcination and the in-cup oxalic acid processes are the best approaches for the treatment of the UNH/nitric acid waste solutions remaining from dissolution of LEU targets for 99Mo production.« less
Authors:
 [1] ;  [1] ;  [1] ;  [1]
  1. Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States). Nuclear Engineering Division
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1328741
Report Number(s):
ANL/NE--16/21
130886
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-06CH11357
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation (NA-20)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES