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A New Approach to Minimize Pyroprocessing Waste Salts Through a Series of Fission Product Removal Process

Eung-Ho Kim, Geun-Il Park, Yung-Zun Cho, Hee-Chul Yang

Nuclear Technology / Volume 162 / Number 2 / May 2008 / Pages 208-218

Technical Paper / First International Pyroprocessing Research Conference

In this work, a new approach to remove fission products including decay heat elements was proposed. This study aims at providing a new way to minimize the amount of waste salt for a repository, while removing the high decay heat fission products [Cs, Sr, Ba, and Y including other rare earth (RE) elements] from the waste salts generated during a chloride pyroprocessing procedure. These elements were removed in consecutive order from the pyroprocessing units. First, Cs could be released in the form of an oxide gas during voloxidation of UO2 and captured by a fly-ash filter. Then, Sr was recovered in the form of carbonate precipitates from the LiCl waste salt generated during the course of an electoreduction process, by using Li2CO3. Finally, RE elements plus yttrium in the spent LiCl-KCl waste salt generated during electrorefining were removed in the form of oxides (or oxychlorides) by using an oxygen sparging method. It was confirmed that the removal yields of each element were ~90% for Cs at ~1473 K, >99% for Sr at a molar ratio of [Li2CO3/SrCl2 = 3], and >99% for the RE elements plus yttrium. Using these successes as a basis, a reference flow sheet for removing the high decay heat elements from pyroprocessing units is presented in this work. Also, a salt regeneration system to minimize the amount of waste salt is proposed in this study.

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