AQUEOUS PROCESSES FOR DISSOLUTION OF URANIUM-MOLYBDENUM ALLOY REACTOR FUEL ELEMENTS

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Methods for dissolving unirradiated uranium-molybdenum alloy reactcr fuels in nitric acid, nitric acid--ferric nitrate, and nitric acid-- phosphoric acid solutions were studied on a laboratory scale. Flowsheets based on the results propose dissolution of alloys containing 3% molybdenum in boiling 6 M HNO/ sub 3/ to yield stsble solutions that are 0.6 M in uranium and 3 to 4 M in nitric acid. The uranium can then be easily decontaminated and recovered in a conventional Purex-type tributyl phosphate solvent extraction process. Alloys containing 10% molybdenum would be dissolved in boiling 11 M HNO/sub 3/, allowing molybdic oxide to precipitate. The ... continued below

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Pages: 39

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Ferris, L.M. July 14, 1961.

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Methods for dissolving unirradiated uranium-molybdenum alloy reactcr fuels in nitric acid, nitric acid--ferric nitrate, and nitric acid-- phosphoric acid solutions were studied on a laboratory scale. Flowsheets based on the results propose dissolution of alloys containing 3% molybdenum in boiling 6 M HNO/ sub 3/ to yield stsble solutions that are 0.6 M in uranium and 3 to 4 M in nitric acid. The uranium can then be easily decontaminated and recovered in a conventional Purex-type tributyl phosphate solvent extraction process. Alloys containing 10% molybdenum would be dissolved in boiling 11 M HNO/sub 3/, allowing molybdic oxide to precipitate. The molybdic oxide, which carries 5-10% of the uranium, is removed by centrifugation and the acidity of the supernatant solution adjusted tc allow recovery of the uranium by Purex-type solvent extraction procedures. The uranium carried by the molybdic oxide is recovered after the MoO/ sub 3/ is dissolved in warm 5 M NaOH. Less than 0.1% of the uranium is solubilized during the caustic dissolution. Alternative methods investigated involve dissolution in nitric acid containing 0.5 to 1 M ferric nitrate to complex the molybdenum. These techniques lead to undesirably large volumes of high-level solvent extraction waste solutions. Phosphate ion is also effective in complexing molybdenum; however, its use in the dissolvent would be purposeless since it must be complexed with iron during solvent extraction. Rates of reaction of the various alloys and the solubility of molybdic oxide were determined in nitric acid, nitric acid-- ferric nitrate, and nitric acid-- phosphonic acid solutions. (auth)

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Pages: 39

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

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  • Report No.: ORNL-3068
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-26
  • DOI: 10.2172/4022353 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 4022353
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc869481

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  • July 14, 1961

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 16, 2016, 12:32 a.m.

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  • Nov. 22, 2016, 7:44 p.m.

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Ferris, L.M. AQUEOUS PROCESSES FOR DISSOLUTION OF URANIUM-MOLYBDENUM ALLOY REACTOR FUEL ELEMENTS, report, July 14, 1961; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc869481/: accessed December 15, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.