MODIFIED ZIRFLEX PROCESS FOR DISSOLUTION OF ZIRCONIUM-AND NIOBIUM-BEARING NUCLEAR FUELS IN AQUEOUS FLUORIDE SOLUTIONS: LABORATORY DEVELOPMENT

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Modified Zirflex process flowsheets were developed for recovering uranium from the newer power reactor fuel alloys after discharge from the reactor. The STR (1% U97% Zr-2% Sn) and EBWR Core-1 (93.5% U-5% Zr-1.5% Nb clad in Zircaloy-2) fuels are used as examples of low- and high-uranium fuels, respectively. A dissolvent of 6 M NH/sub 4/F yields a solution of zirconium and a precipitate of ammonium uranous fluoride. In one process, ammonium hydroxide is added to produce insoluble hydrous oxides of uranium, zirconium and niobium. The NH/sub 4/F-NH/sub 4/OH supernatant is removed by filtration, partially evaporated, and recycled as dissolvent. The ... continued below

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Medium: P; Size: Pages: 29

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Gens, T.A. & Baird, F.G. December 22, 1959.

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Modified Zirflex process flowsheets were developed for recovering uranium from the newer power reactor fuel alloys after discharge from the reactor. The STR (1% U97% Zr-2% Sn) and EBWR Core-1 (93.5% U-5% Zr-1.5% Nb clad in Zircaloy-2) fuels are used as examples of low- and high-uranium fuels, respectively. A dissolvent of 6 M NH/sub 4/F yields a solution of zirconium and a precipitate of ammonium uranous fluoride. In one process, ammonium hydroxide is added to produce insoluble hydrous oxides of uranium, zirconium and niobium. The NH/sub 4/F-NH/sub 4/OH supernatant is removed by filtration, partially evaporated, and recycled as dissolvent. The uranium and zirconium oxides are dissolved in nitric acid to yield a solvent extraction feed solution of low fluoride content. In an alternative process nitric acid and aluminum nitrate are added to the ammonium fluoride fuel solution to oxidize U(IV) to soluble V(VI) and prepare a stable solution suitable for solvent extraction. Chromic acid is also added in the case of the STR fuel. In a variation of this flowsheet for the EBWR fuel, only- enough 6 M NH/sub 4/F is added to dissolve the cladding. Nitric acid and aluminum nitrite are then added io dissolve the core. Insoluble niobic oxide, which carries about 0.03% of the uranium from the EBWR fuel, is removed by filtration from the solvent extraction feed solutions in the EBWR flowsheets. (auth)

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Medium: P; Size: Pages: 29

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  • Other Information: Orig. Receipt Date: 31-DEC-60

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  • Report No.: ORNL-2713
  • Grant Number: W-7405-ENG-26
  • DOI: 10.2172/4195173 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 4195173
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc875115

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  • December 22, 1959

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  • Sept. 21, 2016, 2:29 a.m.

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  • Nov. 3, 2016, 6:12 p.m.

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Gens, T.A. & Baird, F.G. MODIFIED ZIRFLEX PROCESS FOR DISSOLUTION OF ZIRCONIUM-AND NIOBIUM-BEARING NUCLEAR FUELS IN AQUEOUS FLUORIDE SOLUTIONS: LABORATORY DEVELOPMENT, report, December 22, 1959; Tennessee. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc875115/: accessed December 14, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.