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Recovery of Actinides from Spent Nuclear Fuel by Pyrochemical Reprocessing

SOUCEK Pavel; MALMBECK Rikard; MENDES Eric; NOURRY Christophe; GLATZ Jean-Paul
Fonte: French Nuclear Energy Society (SFEN) Publicador: French Nuclear Energy Society (SFEN)
Tipo: Contributions to Conferences Formato: Printed
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The Partitioning & Transmutation (P&T) strategy is based on reduction of the long-term radiotoxicity of spent nuclear fuel by recovery and recycling of plutonium and minor actinides, i.e. Np, Am and Cm. Regardless if transmutation of actinides is conceived by a heterogeneous accelerator driven system, fast reactor concept or as integrated waste burning with a homogenous recycling of all actinides, the reprocessed fuels used are likely to be significantly different from the commercial fuels of today. Because of the fuel type and the high burn-up reached, traditional hydrometallurgical reprocessing such as used today might not be the most adequate method. The main reasons are the low solubility of some fuel materials in acidic aqueous solutions and the limited radiation stability of the organic solvents used in extraction processes. Therefore, pyrochemical separation techniques are under development worldwide, usually based on electrochemical methods, reductive extraction in a high temperature molten salt solvent or fluoride volatility techniques. The pyrochemical reprocessing developed in ITU is based on electrorefining of metallic fuel in molten LiCl-KCl using solid aluminium cathodes. This is followed by a chlorination process for the recovery of actinides from formed actinide-aluminium alloys...