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Electrorefining of U-Pu-Zr-alloy fuel onto solid Aluminium cathodes in molten LiCl-KCl

Soucek, Pavel and Cassayre, Laurent and Malmbeck, Rikard and Mendes, Eric and Jardin, Régis and Glatz, Jean-Paul Electrorefining of U-Pu-Zr-alloy fuel onto solid Aluminium cathodes in molten LiCl-KCl. (2008) Radiochimica acta, vol. 9 (n° 4-5). pp. 315-322. ISSN 0033-8230

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1524/ract.2008.1493

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 UPuZr 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.

Item Type:Article
Audience (journal):International peer-reviewed journal
Uncontrolled Keywords:
Institution: Université de Toulouse > Institut National Polytechnique de Toulouse - INPT
Université de Toulouse > Université Paul Sabatier-Toulouse III - UPS
French research institutions > Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - CNRS
Other partners > European Institute for Energy Research - EIFER (GERMANY)
Laboratory name:
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Deposited By:Hélène Dubernard

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