- Thursday, March 4, 2004
- Lab-Scale Demonstration of the UREX+ Process
- Published at:WM’04 Conference, February 29, – March 4, 2004, Tucson, AZ
The Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative (AFCI), funded by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Nuclear Energy, Science and Technology, is developing advanced technologies to safely and economically reduce the volume and heat generation of material requiring geologic disposition, thereby extending the capacity of the Yucca Mountain repository and delaying or avoiding the need for a second repository. An important element of this initiative is the separation of key radionuclides followed by superior waste-disposal forms and/or transmutation of long-lived isotopes. To that end, the AFCI is developing advanced fuel reprocessing systems that separate key radionuclides from spent fuel. One of these systems is the UREX+ process. The UREX+ process is a series of five solvent-extraction flowsheets that perform the following operations: (1) recovery of Tc and U (UREX), (2) recovery of Cs and Sr (CDC-PEG), (3) recovery of Pu and Np (NPEX), (4) recovery of Am, Cm, and rare-earth fission products (TRUEX), and finally (5) separation of Am and Cm from the rare earths (Cyanex 301). This paper discusses the results of the demonstration, lessons learned during the demonstration, and future development needs and plans.