We propose and test a disposition path for irradiated nuclear fuel using ammonium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide media. We demonstrate on a 13 g scale that >98% of the irradiated fuel dissolves. Subsequent expulsion of carbonate from the dissolver solution precipitates >95% of the plutonium, americium, and curium and substantial amounts of fission products, effectively partitioning the fuel at the dissolution step. Uranium can be easily recovered from solution by any of several means, such as ion exchange, solvent extraction, or direct precipitation. Ammonium carbonate can be evaporated from solution and recovered for reuse, leaving an extremely compact volume of fission products, transactinides, and uranium. Stack emissions are predicted to be less toxic, less radioactive, chemically simpler, and simpler to treat than those from the conventional PUREX process.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Chemical Engineering(all)
- Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering