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INTEGRAL U/TRU RECOVERY CATHODE SYSTEM FOR ELECTROREFINING USED NUCLEAR FUEL, METHOD FOR ELECTROREFINING AND HARVESTING METAL FROM USED NUCLEAR FUEL

United States Patent Application

20170314151
A1
View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
The invention provides a system for collecting metal in an electrorefining process, the system having a hollow cathode; and a container defining an upwardly extending surface adapted to be received by the hollow cathode. An embodiment of the invention provides for metal reduction to occur on laterally facing and medially facing surfaces of the cathode such that electrolyte resides between surfaces of the cathode. Also provided is a metal electrorefining process having the steps of subjecting molten salt containing metal moieties to electrolysis wherein reduced metal accumulates in a cathode-cup construct in a first position; raising the construct to a second position above the molten salt while subjecting the construct to heat from the molten salt; withdrawing the cathode from the construct into a vestibule to the electrorefiner to a third position; and removing the cathode and cup from the electrorefiner to a fourth position.
Willit, James L. (Batavia, IL), Williamson, Mark A. (Naperville, IL), Wiedmeyer, Stanley G. (Glen Ellyn, IL), Tylka, Magdalena M. (Willow Springs, IL)
UCHICAGO ARGONNE, LLC (Chicago IL)
15/ 143,173
April 29, 2016
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION [0001] The U.S. Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357 between the U.S. Department of Energy and UChicago Argonne, LLC, representing Argonne National Laboratory.