Purification Testing for HEU Blend Program

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Description

The Savannah River Site (SRS) is working to dispose of the inventory of enriched uranium (EU) formerly used to make fuel for production reactors. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has agreed to take the material after blending the EU with either natural or depleted uranium to give a {sup 235}U concentration of 4.8 percent low-enriched uranium will be fabricated by a vendor into reactor fuel for use in TVA reactors. SRS prefers to blend the EU with existing depleted uranium (DU) solutions, however, the impurity concentrations in the DU and EU are so high that the blended material may not ... continued below

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7 p.

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Thompson, M.C. & Pierce, R.A. June 1, 1998.

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Description

The Savannah River Site (SRS) is working to dispose of the inventory of enriched uranium (EU) formerly used to make fuel for production reactors. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) has agreed to take the material after blending the EU with either natural or depleted uranium to give a {sup 235}U concentration of 4.8 percent low-enriched uranium will be fabricated by a vendor into reactor fuel for use in TVA reactors. SRS prefers to blend the EU with existing depleted uranium (DU) solutions, however, the impurity concentrations in the DU and EU are so high that the blended material may not meet specifications agreed to with TVA. The principal non-radioactive impurities of concern are carbon, iron, phosphorus and sulfur. Neptunium and plutonium contamination levels are about 40 times greater than the desired specification. Tests of solvent extraction and fuel preparation with solutions of SRS uranium demonstrate that the UO{sub 2} prepared from these solutions will meet specifications for Fe, P and S, but may not meet the specifications for carbon. The reasons for carbon remaining in the oxide at such high levels is not fully understood, but may be overcome either by treatment of the solutions with activated carbon or heating the UO{sub 3} in air for a longer time during the calcination step of fuel preparation.Calculations of the expected removal of Np and Pu from the solutions show that the specification cannot be met with a single cycle of solvent extraction. The only way to ensure meeting the specification is dilution with natural U which contains no Np or Pu. Estimations of the decontamination from fission products and daughter products in the decay chains for the U isotopes show that the specification of 110 MEV Bq/g U can be met as long as the activities of the daughters of U- 235 and U-238 are excluded from the specification.

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7 p.

Notes

OSTI as DE98057846

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  • Other Information: PBD: Jun 1998

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  • Other: DE98057846
  • Report No.: WSRC-TR--98-00233
  • Grant Number: AC09-96SR18500
  • DOI: 10.2172/676767 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 676767
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc703514

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  • June 1, 1998

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 12, 2015, 6:31 a.m.

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  • Feb. 10, 2016, 2:41 p.m.

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Thompson, M.C. & Pierce, R.A. Purification Testing for HEU Blend Program, report, June 1, 1998; Aiken, South Carolina. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc703514/: accessed November 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.