Potentiometric Sensor for Real-Time Remote Surveillance of Actinides in Molten Salts

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A potentiometric sensor is being developed at the Idaho National Laboratory for real-time remote surveillance of actinides during electrorefining of spent nuclear fuel. During electrorefining, fuel in metallic form is oxidized at the anode while refined uranium metal is reduced at the cathode in a high temperature electrochemical cell containing LiCl-KCl-UCl3 electrolyte. Actinides present in the fuel chemically react with UCl3 and form stable metal chlorides that accumulate in the electrolyte. This sensor will be used for process control and safeguarding of activities in the electrorefiner by monitoring the concentrations of actinides in the electrolyte. The work presented focuses on ... continued below

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Gese, Natalie J.; Jue, Jan-Fong; Serrano, Brenda E. & Fredrickson, Guy L. July 1, 2012.

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A potentiometric sensor is being developed at the Idaho National Laboratory for real-time remote surveillance of actinides during electrorefining of spent nuclear fuel. During electrorefining, fuel in metallic form is oxidized at the anode while refined uranium metal is reduced at the cathode in a high temperature electrochemical cell containing LiCl-KCl-UCl3 electrolyte. Actinides present in the fuel chemically react with UCl3 and form stable metal chlorides that accumulate in the electrolyte. This sensor will be used for process control and safeguarding of activities in the electrorefiner by monitoring the concentrations of actinides in the electrolyte. The work presented focuses on developing a solid-state cation conducting ceramic sensor for detecting varying concentrations of trivalent actinide metal cations in eutectic LiCl-KCl molten salt. To understand the basic mechanisms for actinide sensor applications in molten salts, gadolinium was used as a surrogate for actinides. The ß?-Al2O3 was selected as the solid-state electrolyte for sensor fabrication based on cationic conductivity and other factors. In the present work Gd3+-ß?-Al2O3 was prepared by ion exchange reactions between trivalent Gd3+ from GdCl3 and K+-, Na+-, and Sr2+-ß?-Al2O3 precursors. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) was used for characterization of Gd3+-ß?-Al2O3 samples. Microfocus X-ray Diffraction (µ-XRD) was used in conjunction with SEM energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) to identify phase content and elemental composition. The Gd3+-ß?-Al2O3 materials were tested for mechanical and chemical stability by exposing them to molten LiCl-KCl based salts. The effect of annealing on the exchanged material was studied to determine improvements in material integrity post ion exchange. The stability of the ß?-Al2O3 phase after annealing was verified by µ-XRD. Preliminary sensor tests with different assembly designs will also be presented.

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  • Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM) 53rd Annual Meeting,Orlando, FL USA,07/15/2012,07/19/2012

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-12-24475
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-05ID14517
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1056037
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc842227

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

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  • July 1, 2012

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • June 20, 2016, 3:47 p.m.

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Gese, Natalie J.; Jue, Jan-Fong; Serrano, Brenda E. & Fredrickson, Guy L. Potentiometric Sensor for Real-Time Remote Surveillance of Actinides in Molten Salts, article, July 1, 2012; Idaho Falls, Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc842227/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.