CAPABILTY FOR PROCESSING POWER REACTOR FUELS

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The reprocessing of commercial power reactor fuels in existing or modified facilities has been examined for four different reprocessing rates. Existing capabilities in the 325A hot cells will permit processing up to 2 kg of fuel per day using an 8-stage centrifugal contactor and discarding the uranium-plutonium stream in the organic phase. The principal problems with this system are feed clarification, equipment reliability, and waste disposal. The cost is anticipated to be about $30,000 per run for runs up to 10 kg each. Higher assurance of continued operation could be obtained by fabricating a spare contactor and replacement parts. An ... continued below

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Van Tuyl, H. H. March 1, 1976.

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The reprocessing of commercial power reactor fuels in existing or modified facilities has been examined for four different reprocessing rates. Existing capabilities in the 325A hot cells will permit processing up to 2 kg of fuel per day using an 8-stage centrifugal contactor and discarding the uranium-plutonium stream in the organic phase. The principal problems with this system are feed clarification, equipment reliability, and waste disposal. The cost is anticipated to be about $30,000 per run for runs up to 10 kg each. Higher assurance of continued operation could be obtained by fabricating a spare contactor and replacement parts. An increased capacity of up to about 50 kg per day could be achieved by installation of two inch pulse columns in 325A followed by separating the plutonium from the uranium by anion exchange. The existing dissolver system would be nearly adequate. The plutonium would then be sent to ARHCO for further purification and recovery. The first cycle waste would be collected and shipped to 324 without further concentration. The cost will be about $2,000,000 over a nine month period for equipment installation and checkout. After installation and checkout, operating costs will be about $1,500,000 per year. The annual throughput expected in this system will depend on the operating efficiency. At an operating efficiency of 75% the average throughput would be slightly over one tonne per month. One disadvantage of this method. of operation is that it will occupy over half of the 325 hot cells, and could conflict with other work in the cells. The major uncertainties in this processing are possible zirconium fires during shearing, offgas cleanup and waste disposal problems. An increase to 200 kg per day could be achieved by installing 4 inch diameter pulse columns in the 324 hot cells. Columns of this size are possible in 324 but not in 325A because of the higher operating space available in 324. The major drawback to this arrangement is that installation of a major dissolution and solvent extraction capability in 324 would severely limit the operation of the waste solidification program. An alternate combination of 324 and 325A would be to provide dissolution in 324 and solvent extraction in 325A. However, this would cause solvent extraction in 325A to be the limiting step of the system. Throughput of about 100 kg per day might be achieved in a 2 inch column system, and perhaps 150 kg/day in 2 1/2 inch columns. Two parallel systems of 2 to 2 1/2 inch columns could achieve 200 kg/day. This alternative would still result in some interference with the waste programs because fuel receipt, shearing, dissolving, and waste solidification would all be done in the same facility. The Hot Semiworks which was established as a pilot plant for the Redox and Purex plants at Hanford is potentially available for use in commercial fuels reprocessing. The capacity could approach one tonne per day. The cost for refurbishing the Hot Semiworks for satisfactory operation has not been evaluated accurately. It will cost at least tens of millions and perhaps a hundred million to prepare the facility for operation. Likewise, operating costs would be high, and the need for such large quantities of waste is not clear.

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  • Report No.: PNL-8154
  • Grant Number: DE-AC06-76RL01830
  • DOI: 10.2172/1086801 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1086801
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc827916

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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 1, 1976

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • Nov. 22, 2016, 9:57 p.m.

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Van Tuyl, H. H. CAPABILTY FOR PROCESSING POWER REACTOR FUELS, report, March 1, 1976; Richland, Washington. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc827916/: accessed October 17, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.