LAB-SCALE DEMONSTRATION OF PLUTONIUM PURIFICATION BY ANION EXCHANGE, PLUTONIUM (IV) OXALATE PRECIPITATION, AND CALCINATION TO PLUTONIUM OXIDE TO SUPPORT THE MOX FEED MISSION

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H-Canyon and HB-Line are tasked with the production of PuO{sub 2} from a feed of plutonium metal. The PuO{sub 2} will provide feed material for the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility. After dissolution of the Pu metal in H-Canyon, the solution will be transferred to HB-Line for purification by anion exchange. Subsequent unit operations include Pu(IV) oxalate precipitation, filtration and calcination to form PuO{sub 2}. This report details the results from SRNL anion exchange, precipitation, filtration, calcination, and characterization tests, as requested by HB-Line1 and described in the task plan. This study involved an 80-g batch of Pu and employed test ... continued below

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Crowder, M. & Pierce, R. August 22, 2012.

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H-Canyon and HB-Line are tasked with the production of PuO{sub 2} from a feed of plutonium metal. The PuO{sub 2} will provide feed material for the MOX Fuel Fabrication Facility. After dissolution of the Pu metal in H-Canyon, the solution will be transferred to HB-Line for purification by anion exchange. Subsequent unit operations include Pu(IV) oxalate precipitation, filtration and calcination to form PuO{sub 2}. This report details the results from SRNL anion exchange, precipitation, filtration, calcination, and characterization tests, as requested by HB-Line1 and described in the task plan. This study involved an 80-g batch of Pu and employed test conditions prototypical of HB-Line conditions, wherever feasible. In addition, this study integrated lessons learned from earlier anion exchange and precipitation and calcination studies. H-Area Engineering selected direct strike Pu(IV) oxalate precipitation to produce a more dense PuO{sub 2} product than expected from Pu(III) oxalate precipitation. One benefit of the Pu(IV) approach is that it eliminates the need for reduction by ascorbic acid. The proposed HB-Line precipitation process involves a digestion time of 5 minutes after the time (44 min) required for oxalic acid addition. These were the conditions during HB-line production of neptunium oxide (NpO{sub 2}). In addition, a series of small Pu(IV) oxalate precipitation tests with different digestion times were conducted to better understand the effect of digestion time on particle size, filtration efficiency and other factors. To test the recommended process conditions, researchers performed two nearly-identical larger-scale precipitation and calcination tests. The calcined batches of PuO{sub 2} were characterized for density, specific surface area (SSA), particle size, moisture content, and impurities. Because the 3013 Standard requires that the calcination (or stabilization) process eliminate organics, characterization of PuO{sub 2} batches monitored the presence of oxalate by thermogravimetric analysis-mass spectrometry (TGA-MS). To use the TGA-MS for carbon or oxalate content, some method development will be required. However, the TGA-MS is already used for moisture measurements. Therefore, SRNL initiated method development for the TGA-MS to allow quantification of oxalate or total carbon. That work continues at this time and is not yet ready for use in this study. However, the collected test data can be reviewed later as those analysis tools are available.

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  • Report No.: SRNL-STI-2012-00422
  • Grant Number: DE-AC09-08SR22470
  • DOI: 10.2172/1049687 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1049687
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc842148

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  • August 22, 2012

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  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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Crowder, M. & Pierce, R. LAB-SCALE DEMONSTRATION OF PLUTONIUM PURIFICATION BY ANION EXCHANGE, PLUTONIUM (IV) OXALATE PRECIPITATION, AND CALCINATION TO PLUTONIUM OXIDE TO SUPPORT THE MOX FEED MISSION, report, August 22, 2012; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc842148/: accessed October 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.