Electrochemical reduction of CerMet fuels for transmutation using surrogate CeO2-Mo pellets

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One of the concepts chosen for the transmutation of minor actinides in Accelerator Driven Systems or fast reactors proposes the use of fuels and targets containing minor actinides oxides embedded in an inert matrix either composed of molybdenum metal (CerMet fuel) or of ceramic magnesium oxide (CerCer fuel). Since the sufficient transmutation cannot be achieved in a single step, it requires multi-recycling of the fuel including recovery of the not transmuted minor actinides. In the present work, a pyrochemical process for treatment of Mo metal inert matrix based CerMet fuels is studied, particularly the electroreduction in molten chloride salt as a head-end step required prior the main separation process. At the initial stage, different inactive pellets simulating the fuel containing CeO2 as minor actinide surrogates were examined. The main studied parameters of the process efficiency were the porosity and composition of the pellets and the process parameters as current density and passed charge. The results indicated the feasibility of the process, gave insight into its limiting parameters and defined the parameters for the future experiment on minor actinide containing material.




Claux, B., Souček, P., Malmbeck, R., Rodrigues, A., & Glatz, J. P. (2017). Electrochemical reduction of CerMet fuels for transmutation using surrogate CeO2-Mo pellets. Journal of Nuclear Materials, 491, 190–198. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jnucmat.2017.04.052

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