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About the 1996 TMS Annual Meeting: Wednesday Afternoon Sessions (February 7)

February 4-8 · 1996 TMS ANNUAL MEETING ·  Anaheim, California

INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON REACTIVE METALS: Processing & Applications IV: Radioactive Metals Processing

Proceedings Info

Sponsored by: LMD Reactive Metals Committee

Co-sponsored by: Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy & Petroleum, Montreal, Canada; The Japan Institute of Metals, Sendai, Japan; Mining & Materials Processing Institute of Japan, Tokyo, Japan; Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration, Littleton, CO

Program Organizers: B. Mishra, Department of Metallurgical & Materials Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401; G.J. Kipouros, Department of Mining & Metallurgical Engineering, Technical University of Nova Scotia, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada B3J 2X4; R.G. Reddy, Department of Chemical & Metallurgical Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno, NV 89557

Co-organizers: W.A. Averill, Rocky Flats, Inc., Golden. R.G. Bautista, University of Nevada - Reno, Reno; M.C. Bronson, Lawrence Livermore Natl. Lab., Livermore; J.A. Sommers, Teledyne Wah Chang Albany, Albany; C.B. Wilson, The Dow Chemical Company, Freeport

Wednesday, PM Room: B9

February 7, 1996 Location: Anaheim Convention Center

Session Chairperson: Dr. B.R. Westphal, Argonne National Laboratory, PO Box 2528, Idaho Falls, ID 83403; Dr. D.L. Olson, Department of Metallurgical & Materials Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, CO 80401

2:25 pm

DIFFERENTIAL SCANNING CALORIMETRY STUDY OF SOLID STATE PHASE TRANSFORMATIONS IN PLUTONIUM: P.C. Lopez, J.R. Cost, K.M. Axler, Nuclear Materials Technology Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM 87545

Allotropic transformations between the six solid phases of plutonium have been studied both isothermally and during temperature scans. Initially, the [[beta]]->[[gamma]] and [[gamma]]->[[beta]] transformations have been investigated, mostly at a rate of 1.0[[ring]]C per minute. At this rate the transformation on heating occurs over the temperature range from 215[[ring]]C to 225[[ring]]C. The [[gamma]]->[[beta]] reaction upon cooling transforms over the range 145[[ring]]C to 125[[ring]]C indicating typical undercooling hysteresis. Studies of the higher temperature transformations, d<->d' and d<->[[epsilon]]' will also be reported.

2:50 pm

EVALUATION OF ERBIA AS MOLTEN PLUTONIUM CONTAINMENT MATERIAL: C. Lensing, D.L. Olson, B. Mishra, J. Selle, Department of Metallurgical & Materials Engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colorado 80401

The compatibility between erbium oxide and molten cerium, as a surrogate for plutonium, was investigated to understand the high temperature corrrosion mechanisms and to provide kinetic data. The corrosion kinetic data was compared with the data obtained from compatibility tests of erbium oxide in molten plutonium. High density erbium oxide was immersed into molten cerium at temperatures ranging from 850 to 975[[ring]]C for 16 to 128 hours. For both cerium and plutonium systems, a parabolic rate dependence was observed as well as intergranular penetration of cerium into erbium oxide was noted. Activation energies calculated for cerium and plutonium systems are 38.5 and 24.2 kCal/mole, respectively. Two reaction layers formed for the cerium system, viz. cerium oxide particle layer and a layer of erbium oxide-cerium oxide solid solution. An additional third layer, possibly a ternary, was observed for the erbia immersion in molten plutonium. The work was intended to develop material systems for the containment and processing of radioactive materials.

3:15 pm BREAK

3:30 pm

PYROCHEMICAL PROCESSES FOR THE RECOVERY OF WEAPONS GRADE PLUTONIUM EITHER AS A METAL OR AS PuO2 FOR USE IN MIXED OXIDE REACTOR FULE PELLETS: C.A. Colmenares, B.E. Ebbinghaus, M.C. Bronson, University of California, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, PO Box 808, Livermore, CA 94550

We have developed two processes for the recovery of weapons grade plutonium, as either Pu metal or PuO2, that are strictly pyrochemical and do not produce any liquid waste. Large amounts of Pu metal ( up to 4 kg), in various geometric shapes, have been recovered by a hydride/dehydride/cast process (HYDEC) to produce metal ingots of any desired shape. The three processing steps are carried out in a single compact apparatus. The experimental technique and resulsts obtained will be described. We have prepared PuO2 powders from weapons grade Pu by a process that hydrides the Pu metal followed by the oxidation of the hydride (HYDOX Process). Experimental details of the best way to carry out this process will be presented, as well as the characterization of both hydride and oxide powders produced. This work was performed under the auspices of the US Department of Energy by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory under contract number W-7405-ENG-48.

4:20 pm

SEPARATION OF ACTINIDES FROM LANTHANIDES UTILIZING MOLTEN SALT ELECTROREFINING: D.L. Grimmett, S.P. Fussselman, J.J. Roy, R.L. Gay, Rockwell International/Rocketdyne Division, 6633 Canoga Avenue, Canoga Park, CA 91309-7922; C.L. Krueger, T.S. Storvick, University of Missouri-Columbi and Missouri University Research Reactor, Columbia, MO 65211; T. Inoue, T. Hijikata, Central Research Institute of Electric Power Industry, Komae Research Laboratory, Tokyo, Japan; N. Takahashi, Kawasaki Heavy Industries, Ltd., Nuclear Systems Division, Tokyo, Japan

TRUMP-S (TRansUranic Management through Pyropartitioning Separation) is a pyrochemical process being developed to separate actinides from fission products in nuclear waste. A key process step involving molten salt electrorefining to separate actinides from lanthanides has been studied on a laboratory scale. Electrorefining of U, Np, Pu, Am, lanthanide mixtures from molten cadmium at 450deg.C to a solid cathode utilizing a molten chloride electrolyte resulted in >99% removal of actinides from the molten cadmium and salt phases. Removal of the last few percent of actinides is accompanied by lowered cathodic current efficiency and some lanthanide codeposition. Actinide/lanthanide separation ratios on the cathode are ordered U>Np>Pu>Am and are consistent with predictions based on equilibrium potentials.

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