Electrometallurgical treatment of degraded N-reactor fuel

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N-Reactor fuel constitutes almost 80% of the entire mass of the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) spent fuel inventory. The current plan for disposition of this fuel calls for interim dry storage, followed by direct repository disposal. However, this approach may not be viable for the entire inventory of N-Reactor fuel. The physical condition and chemical composition of much of the fuel have changed during the period that it has been in storage. The cladding of many of the fuel elements has been breached, allowing the metallic uranium fuel to react with water in the storage pools producing uranium oxides ... continued below

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11 p.

Creation Information

Gourishankar, K. V.; Karell, E. J.; Everhart, R. E. & Indacochea, E. March 3, 2000.

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  • Argonne National Laboratory
    Publisher Info: Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, IL (United States)
    Place of Publication: Argonne, Illinois

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Description

N-Reactor fuel constitutes almost 80% of the entire mass of the US Department of Energy's (DOE's) spent fuel inventory. The current plan for disposition of this fuel calls for interim dry storage, followed by direct repository disposal. However, this approach may not be viable for the entire inventory of N-Reactor fuel. The physical condition and chemical composition of much of the fuel have changed during the period that it has been in storage. The cladding of many of the fuel elements has been breached, allowing the metallic uranium fuel to react with water in the storage pools producing uranium oxides (U{sub x}O{sub y}) and uranium hydride (UH{sub 3}). Even if the breached fuel is placed in dry storage, it may continue to undergo significant changes caused by the reaction of exposed uranium with any remaining water in the container. Uranium oxides, uranium hydride, and hydrogen gas are expected to form as a result of this reaction. The presence of potentially explosive hydrogen and uranium hydride, which under certain conditions is pyrophoric, raises technical concerns that will need to be addressed. The electrometallurgical treatment process developed by Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) has potential for conditioning degraded N-Reactor fuel for long-term storage or disposal. The first step in evaluating the applicability of this process is the preparation of degraded fuel that is similar to the actual degraded N-Reactor fuel. Subsequently, the simulated degraded fuel can be introduced into an electrorefiner to examine the effect of corrosion products on the electrorefining process. Some of the technical issues to be resolved include the viability of direct electrorefining without a head-end reduction step, the effect of adherent corrosion products on the electrorefining kinetics, and the recovery and treatment of loose corrosion products that pull away from the degraded fuel. This paper presents results from an experimental study of the preparation, characterization, and subsequent electrometallurgical treatment of samples of simulated degraded N-Reactor fuel.

Physical Description

11 p.

Notes

INIS; OSTI as DE00752871

Medium: P; Size: 11 pages

Source

  • ANS 4th Topical Meeting - DOE Spent Nuclear Fuel and Fissile Material Management, San Diego, CA (US), 06/04/2000--06/08/2000

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  • Report No.: ANL/CMT/CP-100422
  • Grant Number: W-31109-ENG-38
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 752871
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc702323

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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Creation Date

  • March 3, 2000

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • April 6, 2017, 7:30 p.m.

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Gourishankar, K. V.; Karell, E. J.; Everhart, R. E. & Indacochea, E. Electrometallurgical treatment of degraded N-reactor fuel, article, March 3, 2000; Argonne, Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc702323/: accessed April 20, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.