A new reprocessing technology, FLUOREX was proposed for thermal reactors cycle and future thermal/fast reactors (coexistence) cycle. The proposed system is a hybrid system that combines fluoride volatility and solvent extraction methods. Spent fuel will be sheared and cladding material will be removed by dry oxidation/reduction method such as AIROX process. Fluorination and purification of most uranium can be easily achieved by fluoride volatility method with compact facility. About 10% residues including plutonium can be treated in well-established PUREX method, which means this facility load will be about 1/10 of the conventional PUREX facility with same capacity. Between fluorination process and PUREX process, there is a pyrohydrolysis process where the fluoride compounds from fluorination process are converted to the oxides. Pure mixture of Pu and U can be obtained by solvent extraction method without separating Pu and U, which is suitable for conventional MOX fuel fabrication. The system can recover pure U and MOX with the decontamination factor of over 107and can drastically reduce the cost and waste generation compared with the conventional one. Semi engineering scale experiments for the fluorination, pyrohydrolysis, and dissolution of Pu containing materials were carried out. From those experimental results, key elemental processes were fundamentally proofed. © 2005 Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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