Image icon  Nuclear waste separation techniques: Electrorefining II

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Description: Chemical Engineering Division (CMT) of Argonne National Laboratory advanced electrorefining technology with the development of the Planar Electrode ElectoRefiner (PEER). Like the aqueous UREX+ process, electrorefining separates uranium into one separate stream. But electrorefining keeps the plutonium and neptunium with the americium and curium, which are recovered in a subsequent pyroprocess, recycled into advanced reactor fuel, and destroyed as they produce electricity. In addition, keeping the plutonium with the other elements eases nuclear proliferation concerns by making it unsuitable for direct use in nuclear weapons. Pyrochemical processing may also reduce the cost of treating spent fuel and provide greater flexibility in the deployment of fuel treatment facilities. This image shows an Argonne chemist Laurel Barnes placing uranium product collected during electrorefiner test runs into a storage vessel for future evaluation.
Keywords: pyrochemical separation • nuclear fuel • nuclear waste • uranium • electrorefining • storage vessel • recycling
Categories: Applications > Energy > Nuclear energy
Properties > Chemical & biological > Chemical
Other topics > Environment
Created by: Argonne National Laboratory
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Date created: 06 September 2004
Date added: 03 February 2011
Resource ID: 3390