Pyrochemical method of salvaging weapons plutonium in oxide for fabricating mixed fuel for fast reactors
- 68 Downloads
Experimental results of investigations of pyrochemical conversion of weapons plutonium into plutonium oxide for fabricating fast-reactor fuel are presented. Weapons plutonium was hydrogenized by hydrogen at 220°C, after which the plutonium hydride obtained was acidified at 550–560°C with the formation of PuO2. To increase fire and explosion safety of the process, a mixture of oxygen with nitrogen, helium, or argon was used or nitriding with nitrogen and oxidation of plutonium mononitride were introduced. The particle size of the plutonium oxide powders obtained was less than 15 μm. The powders showed poor flowability, but after granulation they were suitable for fabricating kernels with mixed fuel. The gallium was removed by reduction of Ga2O3 by hydrogen to Ga2O, which was sublimated. The mixed-fuel kernels sintered at 1600–1700°C in a hydrogen atmosphere contained <0.001 wt.% gallium, and their density was 94–97% of the theoretical value.
KeywordsUranium Plutonium Granulometric Composition Mixed Fuel Mononitride
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.B. D. Rogozkin, F. G. Reshetnikov, N. M. Stepennova, et al., “Pyrochemical conversion of weapons plutonium into mononitride, monocarbide plutonium and mixed uranium-plutonium fuel for fast reactors,” At. Énerg., 109, No. 3, 152–158 (2010).Google Scholar
- 2.V. Rudneva, V. Kagramanian, V. Murogov, et al., “The Aida MOX program: strategic approaches to plutonium utilization,” in: Global-95, Versailles, France, Sept. 11–14, 1995, Vol. 1, pp. 652–659.Google Scholar
- 3.J. Toevs and C. Beard, “Gallium in weapons – grade plutonium and MOX fuel fabrication,” in: Proc. Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER), SDA, Vol. 5, No. 4, 1–4 (2008).Google Scholar
- 4.B. D. Rogozkin, G. V. Belov, and G. A. Bergman, “Removal of gallium in the process of pyrochemical reprocessing of weapons plutonium into oxide fuel,” At. Énerg., 107, No. 1, 55–57 (2009).Google Scholar
- 5.A. S. Polyakov, L. M. Borisov, B. S. Zakharkin, et al., “Aida/MOX: progress report on the research concerning the aqueous processes for allied plutonium conversion PuO2 or (U,Pu)O2,” in: Global-1995, Versailles, France, Sept. 11–14, 1995, Vol. 1, pp. 640–651.Google Scholar
- 7.G. P. Novoselov, N. M. Stepennikova, V. V. Kushnikov, et al., “Oxidation of briquettes from uranium and plutonium mononitrides, carbides,” At. Énerg., 53, No. 2, 77–80 (1982).Google Scholar
- 8.V. V. Ovechkin, V. I. Melentiev, B. D. Rogozkin, et al., “Activation methods of determining the content of oxygen, nitrogen, and fluorine in nuclear fuel,” At. Énerg., 53, No. 3, 153–156 (1983).Google Scholar
- 9.G. N. Vlaskin and V. Yu. Rogozhkin, “Radiation fields in plutonium conversion technologies,” Preprint VNIINM, No. 2 (2000).Google Scholar