Used nuclear fuel has long been reprocessed to extract fissile materials for recycling and to reduce the volume of high-level wastes. New reprocessing  ‎Processing perspective · ‎History of reprocessing · ‎Reprocessing policies. Uranium reprocessing techniques were developed during the Second World War and ensuing cold war, as a means of extracting plutonium for atomic bombs. Nuclear Fuel Reprocessing: U.S. Policy. Development. Anthony Andrews. Specialist in Industrial Engineering and Infrastructure Policy.


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Does not use solvents containing hydrogen and carbon, which are neutron moderators creating nuclear fuel reprocessing of criticality accidents and can absorb the fission product tritium and the activation product carbon in dilute solutions that cannot be separated later.

More compact than aqueous methods, allowing on-site reprocessing at the reactor site, which avoids transportation of spent fuel and its security issues, instead storing a much smaller volume of fission products on site as high-level waste until decommissioning.

It can separate many or even all actinides at once and produce highly radioactive fuel which is harder to manipulate for theft or making nuclear weapons. However, the difficulty has been questioned. Most of the radioactivity in roughly to years after the use of the nuclear fuel is produced by the actinides, since there are no fission products with half-lives in this range.

These actinides can fuel fast reactorsso extracting and reusing fissioning them increases energy production per kg of fuel, as nuclear fuel reprocessing as reducing the long-term radioactivity of the wastes.

Nuclear reprocessing - Wikipedia

Disadvantages Reprocessing as a whole is not currently in favor, and places that do reprocess nuclear fuel reprocessing have PUREX plants constructed. Consequently, there is little demand for new pyrometalurgical systems, although there could be if the Generation Nuclear fuel reprocessing reactor programs become reality.

The used salt from pyroprocessing is less suitable for conversion into glass than the waste materials produced by the PUREX process.


If the goal is to reduce the longevity of spent nuclear nuclear fuel reprocessing in burner reactors, then better recovery rates of nuclear fuel reprocessing minor actinides need to be achieved. PYRO-A is a means of separating actinides elements within the actinide family, generally heavier than U from non-actinides.

The spent fuel is placed in an anode basket which is immersed in a molten salt electrolyte. An electric current is applied, causing the uranium metal or sometimes oxide, depending on the spent fuel to plate out on a solid metal cathode while the other actinides and the rare earths can be absorbed into a liquid cadmium cathode.

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Many of the fission products such as caesiumzirconium and strontium remain in the salt. The radioactivity of this waste will then drop to the level of various naturally occurring minerals and ores within a few hundred, rather than nuclear fuel reprocessing of, years.

In a thermal neutron spectrum, the concentrations nuclear fuel reprocessing several heavy actinides curium and plutonium can become quite high, creating fuel that is substantially different from the usual uranium or mixed uranium-plutonium oxides MOX that most current reactors were designed to use.


Another pyrochemical process, the PYRO-B process, has been developed for the processing and recycling of fuel from a transmuter reactor a fast breeder reactor designed to convert transuranic nuclear waste into fission products.

A typical transmuter fuel is free from uranium and contains recovered transuranics in an inert matrix such as metallic nuclear fuel reprocessing.

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In nuclear fuel reprocessing PYRO-B processing of such fuel, an electrorefining step is used to separate the residual transuranic elements from the fission products and recycle the transuranics to the reactor for fissioning. Newly generated technetium and iodine are extracted for incorporation into transmutation targets, and the other fission products are sent to waste.

Voloxidation[ edit ] Voloxidation for volumetric oxidation involves heating oxide fuel with oxygen, sometimes with alternating oxidation and reduction, or alternating oxidation by ozone to uranium trioxide with decomposition by heating back to triuranium octoxide.

Other volatile elements leave the fuel and must be recovered, especially iodinetechnetiumand carbon This statement is nuclear fuel reprocessing misleading.

The separation and use of plutonium would be a long-range job requiring careful planning and research We are already late in starting to bring this new energy source on stream in the critical last decade of this century, when real shortages of energy will appear.

Hatcher of Nuclear fuel reprocessing explained further: We have shown the design of this [pilot reprocessing plant] starting this year [] and operational by Its first priority would be to test the reprocessing of thorium This is an extremely tight schedule and the timing is critical Nuclear fuel reprocessing need a start this year on a pilot plant for reprocessing Any delays in committing the first phase of this program will lead to similar delays in completion

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