Isolating wastes in the electrometallurgical treatment of spent nuclear fuel
Additional Document Info
The main hazards in spent nuclear fuel are fission products and transuranic radionuclides. An electrometallurgical treatment is designed to isolate these elements by electrorefining and then place them in waste forms suitable for geologic disposal. In the highly reducing chemical environment used for electrometallurgical treatment, fuel cladding and transition-metal fission products remain as metals; these metals are collected and melted to form a highly corrosion-resistant waste form. Other fission-product elements and transuranic elements collect in the molten-salt process fluid and are removed by ion exchange into zeolite, which is further processed to make a durable-composite ceramic waste form.