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Molten salt extraction of transuranic and reactive fission products from used uranium oxide fuel

United States Patent

May 27, 2014
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Idaho National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office Website
Used uranium oxide fuel is detoxified by extracting transuranic and reactive fission products into molten salt. By contacting declad and crushed used uranium oxide fuel with a molten halide salt containing a minor fraction of the respective uranium trihalide, transuranic and reactive fission products partition from the fuel to the molten salt phase, while uranium oxide and non-reactive, or noble metal, fission products remain in an insoluble solid phase. The salt is then separated from the fuel via draining and distillation. By this method, the bulk of the decay heat, fission poisoning capacity, and radiotoxicity are removed from the used fuel. The remaining radioactivity from the noble metal fission products in the detoxified fuel is primarily limited to soft beta emitters. The extracted transuranic and reactive fission products are amenable to existing technologies for group uranium/transuranic product recovery and fission product immobilization in engineered waste forms.
Herrmann; Steven Douglas (Idaho Falls, ID)
U.S. Department of Energy (Washington, DC)
13/ 666,232
November 1, 2012
GOVERNMENT INTERESTS The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC07-05ID14517, between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the Battelle Energy Alliance.