ULTRASONIC LEACHING OF URANIA-IMPREGNATED GRAPHITE FUELS

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The proposed use of unclad, urania-impregnated graphite fuel elements in experimental and power reactors raised the question of how best to reprocess the elements after irradiation. A grind-leach process using boiling nitric acid was previously suggested as alternate to earlier combustion techniques. Besides requiring pre-grinding of the elements the process did not leave a residue sufficiently low in radioactivity when the elements contained initially less than 3 wt% uranium. Application of ultrasonic vibratory energy tc the graphite during this process increased leaching rate and completeness tc such an extent that the practical process limit of 3% uranium is no longer ... continued below

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Pages: 18

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Tarpley, W.B. & Winchester, R.S. April 1, 1961.

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Description

The proposed use of unclad, urania-impregnated graphite fuel elements in experimental and power reactors raised the question of how best to reprocess the elements after irradiation. A grind-leach process using boiling nitric acid was previously suggested as alternate to earlier combustion techniques. Besides requiring pre-grinding of the elements the process did not leave a residue sufficiently low in radioactivity when the elements contained initially less than 3 wt% uranium. Application of ultrasonic vibratory energy tc the graphite during this process increased leaching rate and completeness tc such an extent that the practical process limit of 3% uranium is no longer a problem. The ultrasonic studies were carried out with non-irradiated specimen plates and ground pebble specimens. The plates apparently can be leached in practical time span to such a low level of radioactivity that disposal of the graphite residues is simplified. Furthermore it appears that the pre-grinding of the spent elements can be eliminated. Direct activation of the intact fuel plate specimens resulted in leaching efficiency at least as good as with ground specimens. (auth)

Physical Description

Pages: 18

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  • Other Information: Orig. Receipt Date: 31-DEC-61

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  • Report No.: NYO-9581
  • Grant Number: AT(30-1)-1836
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 4022354
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc867523

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  • April 1, 1961

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  • Sept. 16, 2016, 12:32 a.m.

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  • Dec. 2, 2016, 4:42 p.m.

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Tarpley, W.B. & Winchester, R.S. ULTRASONIC LEACHING OF URANIA-IMPREGNATED GRAPHITE FUELS, report, April 1, 1961; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc867523/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.