A radioactive tracer dilution method to determine the mass of molten salt

Abstract

A new technique for molten salt mass determination, termed radioactive tracer dilution, that uses 22Na as a tracer was validated at bench scale. It has been a challenging problem to determine the mass of molten salt in irregularly shaped containers, where a highly radioactive, high-temperature molten salt was used to process nuclear spent/used fuel during electrochemical recycling (pyro-processing) or for coolant/fuel salt from molten salt reactors. A radioactive source with known activity is dissolved into the salt. After a complete mixture, a small amount of the salt is sampled and measured in terms of its mass and radioactivity. By finding the ratio of the mass to radioactivity, the unknown salt mass in the original container can be precisely determined.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to thank the financial support from Laboratory Directed Research & Development from U.S. Department of Energy Idaho National Laboratory.

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Correspondence to Lei Cao.

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Cao, L., Jarrell, J., White, S. et al. A radioactive tracer dilution method to determine the mass of molten salt. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 314, 387–393 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10967-017-5417-5

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Keywords

  • Radioactive tracer
  • Molten salt
  • Mass determination
  • Volume
  • Pyro-processing
  • Molten salt reactor