, Volume 109, Issue 3, pp 189-196
Date: 12 Jan 2011

Pyrochemical conversion of weapons plutonium into plutonium mononitride, monocarbide and mixed uranium-plutonium fuel for fast reactors

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The main directions and results of research on pyrochemical reprocessing of weapons plutonium in fuel for fast reactors are presented. It is shown that this technology is economical and ecologically validated, compact, fire and explosion safe, especially for reprocessing in carbide-nitride as well as oxide fuel for fast reactors. It satisfies the principle of nonproliferation. For reprocessing weapons plutonium in oxide fuel with deep removal of 241Am and Ga, a combined process which combines pyrochemical conversion of plutonium into oxide or nitride powder, and dissolution in acids and extraction of impurities. It is shown that the fuel kernels made from nitride, carbide, and oxide powers both from individual PuN, PuC0.86, and PuO2 powders as well as mixed plutonium compounds with uranium are fabricated by means of the conventional regime and provide the required density and content of gallium of <0.001 wt. %.