Title: Electrorefining of U-Pu-Zr-alloy Fuel onto Solid Aluminium Cathodes in Molten LiCl-KCl
Citation: RADIOCHIMICA ACTA vol. 96 p. 315-322
Publication Year: 2008
JRC N°: JRC45877
ISSN: 0033-8230
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC45877
DOI: 10.1524/ract.2008.1493
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: An electrorefining process in molten chloride salts using solid aluminium cathodes is being developed at ITU to recover actinides (An) from the spent nuclear fuel. The maximum possible loading of aluminium electrodes with actinides was investigated during the electrorefining of U-Pu-Zr alloy in a LiCl-KCl eutectic at 450 ¿C. Two different electrolytic techniques were applied during the experiment and almost 6000 C has been passed, corresponding to 3.7 g of deposited actinides. A very high capacity of aluminium to retain actinides has been proven as the average Al :An mass ratio was 1 : 1.58 for galvanostatic and 1 : 2.25 for potentiostatic mode. The obtained deposits were characterized by XRD and SEM-EDX analysis and alloys composed of (U,Pu)Al3 were detected. The influence of zirconium co-oxidation during the process was also investigated and the presence of dissolved Zr ions in the melt yielded a significant deterioration of the quality of the deposit.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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