Electrolytic Reduction of Spent Oxide Fuel – Bench-Scale Test Results

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A series of tests were performed to demonstrate the electrolytic reduction of spent light water reactor fuel at bench-scale in a hot cell at the Idaho National Laboratory Materials and Fuels Complex (formerly Argonne National Laboratory - West). The process involves the conversion of oxide fuel to metal by electrolytic means, which would then enable subsequent separation and recovery of actinides via existing electrometallurgical technologies, i.e., electrorefining. Four electrolytic reduction runs were performed at bench scale using ~500 ml of molten LiCl -- 1 wt% Li2O electrolyte at 650 ºC. In each run, ~50 g of crushed spent oxide fuel ... continued below

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Herrmann, S. D.; Li, S. X. & Simpson, M. F. October 1, 2005.

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A series of tests were performed to demonstrate the electrolytic reduction of spent light water reactor fuel at bench-scale in a hot cell at the Idaho National Laboratory Materials and Fuels Complex (formerly Argonne National Laboratory - West). The process involves the conversion of oxide fuel to metal by electrolytic means, which would then enable subsequent separation and recovery of actinides via existing electrometallurgical technologies, i.e., electrorefining. Four electrolytic reduction runs were performed at bench scale using ~500 ml of molten LiCl -- 1 wt% Li2O electrolyte at 650 ºC. In each run, ~50 g of crushed spent oxide fuel was loaded into a permeable stainless steel basket and immersed into the electrolyte as the cathode. A spiral wound platinum wire was immersed into the electrolyte as the anode. When a controlled electric current was conducted through the anode and cathode, the oxide fuel was reduced to metal in the basket and oxygen gas was evolved at the anode. Salt samples were extracted before and after each electrolytic reduction run and analyzed for fuel and fission product constituents. The fuel baskets following each run were sectioned and sampled, revealing an extent of uranium oxide reduction in excess of 98%.

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  • Global 2005,Tsukuba, Japan,10/09/2005,10/13/2005

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-05-00304
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-99ID-13727
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 911687
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc889245

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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

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  • October 1, 2005

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  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Nov. 7, 2016, 4:08 p.m.

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Herrmann, S. D.; Li, S. X. & Simpson, M. F. Electrolytic Reduction of Spent Oxide Fuel – Bench-Scale Test Results, article, October 1, 2005; [Idaho Falls, Idaho]. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc889245/: accessed November 18, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.