Title: Separation of Uranium from Uranium-Aluminium Alloys by Chlorination Process
Citation: Proceedings of Global 2009 p. 9356 (1214-1220)
Publisher: Société Francaise d'Energie Nucleaire (SFEN)
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC54206
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC54206
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: Electrochemical separation techniques in molten LiCl-KCl using solid aluminium cathodes are being developed in ITU to recover all actinides from spent nuclear fuel. Actinide ions are group-selectively electrochemically reduced on the cathode, forming solid actinidealuminium (An-Al) alloys. Chlorination by pure chlorine gas is under development for recovery of actinides from obtained alloys. The proposed route is consisting of three steps: Vacuum distillation for removal of the salt adhered on the electrode surface, chlorination of the An-Al alloy by chlorine gas and sublimation of formed AlCl3. In the present work, systematic experimental studies of the chlorination step are evaluated. The experiments were carried out with pure UAl3 alloy, since the overall process is expected to be feasible under conditions suitable for chlorination of uranium. The process working temperature and Cl2/UAl3 molar ratio were investigated in order to determine the optimal process conditions roviding complete chlorination without uranium losses by formation of volatile UCl5 and UCl6. The results are very promising and high efficiency chlorination was achieved using already the lowest experimentally possible Cl2/UAl3 molar ratio (18) at a temperature of 150°C.
JRC Directorate:Nuclear Safety and Security

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