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Metallurgical and Materials Transactions A

, Volume 46, Issue 1, pp 83–92 | Cite as

Characterization of Irradiated Metal Waste from the Pyrometallurgical Treatment of Used EBR-II Fuel

  • Brian R. WestphalEmail author
  • S. M. Frank
  • W. M. McCartin
  • D. G. Cummings
  • J. J. Giglio
  • T. P. O’Holleran
  • P. A. Hahn
  • T. S. Yoo
  • K. C. Marsden
  • K. J. Bateman
  • M. N. Patterson
Symposium: Materials and Fuels for the Current and Advanced Nuclear Reactors II

Abstract

As part of the pyrometallurgical treatment of used Experimental Breeder Reactor-II fuel, a metal waste stream is generated consisting primarily of cladding hulls laden with fission products noble to the electrorefining process. Consolidation by melting at high temperature [1873 K (1600 °C)] has been developed to sequester the noble metal fission products (Zr, Mo, Tc, Ru, Rh, Te, and Pd) which remain in the iron-based cladding hulls. Zirconium from the uranium fuel alloy (U-10Zr) is also deposited on the hulls and forms Fe-Zr intermetallics which incorporate the noble metals as well as residual actinides during processing. Hence, Zr has been chosen as the primary indicator for consistency of the metal waste. Recently, the first production-scale metal waste ingot was generated and sampled to monitor Zr content for Fe-Zr intermetallic phase formation and validation of processing conditions. Chemical assay of the metal waste ingot revealed a homogeneous distribution of the noble metal fission products as well as the primary fuel constituents U and Zr. Microstructural characterization of the ingot confirmed the immobilization of the noble metals in the Fe-Zr intermetallic phase.

Keywords

Inductively Couple Plasma Mass Spectroscopy Inductively Couple Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy Fission Product Inductively Couple Plasma Atomic Emission Spectroscopy Inductively Couple Plasma Mass Spectroscopy 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Notes

Acknowledgments

The authors would like to acknowledge the Hot Fuel Examination Facility and Fuel Conditioning Facility operations personnel for their recent contributions and the Analytical Laboratory staff for chemical services. Given the extended history of metal waste form development, the following researchers at Argonne National Laboratory and the Idaho National Laboratory should also be recognized and this by no means represents a complete list: D.P. Abraham, J.P. Ackerman, R.W. Benedict, T.D. DiSanto, N.L. Dietz, W.L. Ebert, R.N. Elliott, T.H. Fanning, J.K. Fink, K.M. Goff, I. Johnson, S.G. Johnson, D.D. Keiser, Jr., C.J. Knight, J.R. Krsul, R.P. Lind, C.D. Morgan, E.E. Morris, S.M. McDeavitt, M. Noy, J.Y. Park, M.C. Petri, J.W. Richardson, Jr., D. Vaden, S. White, and R.A. Wigeland. This work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Nuclear Energy, Science, and Technology, under DOE-NE Idaho Operations Office Contract DE-AC07-05ID14517.

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Copyright information

© The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM International (outside the USA) 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Brian R. Westphal
    • 1
    Email author
  • S. M. Frank
    • 1
  • W. M. McCartin
    • 1
  • D. G. Cummings
    • 1
  • J. J. Giglio
    • 1
  • T. P. O’Holleran
    • 1
  • P. A. Hahn
    • 1
  • T. S. Yoo
    • 1
  • K. C. Marsden
    • 1
  • K. J. Bateman
    • 1
  • M. N. Patterson
    • 1
  1. 1.Idaho National LaboratoryIdaho FallsUSA

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