Volatizing Patents (Class 423/19)
  • Patent number: 9382129
    Abstract: A process for recovering residual uranium from emptied uranium hexafluoride shipping cylinder during cleaning, including rinsing a uranium hexafluoride shipping cylinder with hydrofluoric acid to dissolve a heel of uranium hexafluoride therein to form a mixture of sediment, precipitates and a uranium solution; separating the uranium solution from the sediment and precipitates; mixing sodium hydroxide with the uranium solution to precipitate sodium diuranate; separating the solid sodium diuranate from the sodium fluoride solution formed; re-dissolving the sodium diuranate in sodium carbonate solution to form uranyl carbonate complex solution; and adjusting the pH of uranyl carbonate complex solution further to precipitate uranyl peroxide with the addition of hydrogen peroxide. Sodium fluoride solution produced is further treated to remove fluoride by percolating it through a calcite limestone bed to form calcium fluoride solid.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 26, 2013
    Date of Patent: July 5, 2016
    Assignee: Transport Logistics International, Inc.
    Inventor: Ronald O. Noe
  • Publication number: 20140140905
    Abstract: A method for treating process distillate heavies produced during uranium fluoride purification is described. The heavies contain primarily uranium hexafluoride, UF6, and molybdenum oxytetrafluoride, MoOF4. The uranium hexafluoride is removed via distillation at reduced pressure leaving essentially MoOF4 containing <0.1% of residual uranium hexafluoride. This mixture is hydrolyzed in water, then treated with a solution of sodium hydroxide until a pH of at least 7.5 is reached. The precipitated sodium diuranate and sodium fluoride are removed by filtration. The filtrate is reacted with calcium chloride to precipitate the molybdenum values as calcium molybdate containing trace quantities of calcium fluoride.
    Type: Application
    Filed: November 13, 2013
    Publication date: May 22, 2014
    Applicant: Honeywell International Inc.
    Inventors: David Nalewajek, Kent Beckman
  • Publication number: 20140037518
    Abstract: The method concerns processing irradiated (spent) nuclear fuel (SNF), it is primarily aimed at isolating and trapping tritium, and can be used in nuclear power industry for treating SNF. This method provides for a two-phase voloxidation of a reaction mass using gas-air mixture, the reaction mass including fragmented uranium dioxide SNF elements with containers. The first phase is carried out at 400÷650° C. in the presence of air and additional carbon dioxide. The second phase is carried out at 350÷450° C. using a stream of an air-vapor mixture that can be oxygen-enriched. Both phases are carried out with a repeated mechanical activation of the reaction mass. Provided in the course of the voloxidation is the gas replacement at the hour rate of about 10÷50-fold the reaction chamber gas volume. Before being introduced into the reaction chamber, the gas is preheated up to the chamber internal temperature.
    Type: Application
    Filed: March 5, 2012
    Publication date: February 6, 2014
    Applicant: Federal Unitary Enterprise "Mining and Chemical Combine
    Inventors: Yevgeny Georgievich Kudryavtsev, Petr Mikhailovich Gavrilov, Yury Alexandrovich Revenko, Igor Alexandrovich Merkulov, Vladimir Victorovich Bondin, Vladimir Ivanovich Volk, Sergey Ivanovich Bychkov, Vladimir Nikolaevich Alexeyenko
  • Publication number: 20130336855
    Abstract: A method for reprocessing spent nuclear fuel from a light water reactor includes the step of reacting spent nuclear fuel in a voloxidation vessel with an oxidizing gas having nitrogen dioxide and oxygen for a period sufficient to generate a solid oxidation product of the spent nuclear fuel. The reacting step includes the step of reacting, in a first zone of the voloxidation vessel, spent nuclear fuel with the oxidizing gas at a temperature ranging from 200-450° C. to form an oxidized reaction product, and regenerating nitrogen dioxide, in a second zone of the voloxidation vessel, by reacting oxidizing gas comprising nitrogen monoxide and oxygen at a temperature ranging from 0-80° C. The first zone and the second zone can be separate. A voloxidation system is also disclosed.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 16, 2013
    Publication date: December 19, 2013
    Inventors: Emory D. COLLINS, Guillermo D. DELCUL, Rodney D. HUNT, Jared A. JOHNSON, Barry B. SPENCER
  • Patent number: 8475756
    Abstract: A method for the production of UCl3 salt without the use of hazardous chemicals or multiple apparatuses for synthesis and purification is provided. Uranium metal is combined in a reaction vessel with a metal chloride and a eutectic salt- and heated to a first temperature under vacuum conditions to promote reaction of the uranium metal with the metal chloride for the production of a UCl3 salt. After the reaction has run substantially to completion, the furnace is heated to a second temperature under vacuum conditions. The second temperature is sufficiently high to selectively vaporize the chloride salts and distill them into a condenser region.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 8, 2011
    Date of Patent: July 2, 2013
    Assignee: U.S. Department of Energy
    Inventors: Brian R. Westphal, Robert D. Mariani
  • Patent number: 7824640
    Abstract: The present invention provides a two-step process for producing nuclear grade, active uranium dioxide (UO2) powder in which the first step comprises reacting uranium hexafluoride (UF6) with steam in a flame reactor to yield uranyl fluoride (UO2F2); and the second step comprises removing fluoride and reducing UO2F2 to uranium dioxide (UO2) in a kiln under a steam/hydrogen atmosphere. The two-step process, each step separated by a positive sealed valve means to prevent gas, particularly H2 flow back, tightly controls the exothermicity of the reaction, which allows for a very tight temperature control which controls the growth of the particles and results in UO2 powder that is active and of consistent morphology.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 20, 2009
    Date of Patent: November 2, 2010
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Co. LLC
    Inventor: Edward J. Lahoda
  • Patent number: 7323153
    Abstract: Fluorine or a fluorine compound is subjected to a reaction with a spent oxide fuel to produce fluorides of uranium and plutonium, and recovering the fluorides using a difference in volatility behavior. The method includes steps of: subjecting a mixture of UO2 and PuO2 with hydrogen fluoride mixed with hydrogen to HF-fluorinate uranium and plutonium into UF4 and PuF3; subjecting UF4 and PuF3 with a fluorine gas to F2-fluorinate uranium and plutonium into UF6 and PuF6; and fractionating UF6 and PuF6 using a difference in phase change of obtained UF6 and PuF6, removing a part of UF6, and volatilizing the remaining UF6 and PuF6 at the same time. By such a reprocessing method, PuF4 hard to undergo a reaction is prevented from being formed as an intermediate fluoride, the material of a reactor is hard to be corroded, and a consumption of expensive fluorine gas is reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2005
    Date of Patent: January 29, 2008
    Assignee: Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute
    Inventors: Ippei Amamoto, Koji Sato
  • Patent number: 7208129
    Abstract: Fluorine or a fluorine compound is subjected to a reaction with a spent oxide fuel to produce fluorides of uranium and plutonium, and the fluorides are recovered using a difference in volatility behavior. The spent oxide fuel is subjected to a reaction with an HF gas, whereby uranium, plutonium and most impurities are converted into solid fluorides having low valences or remained as oxides to inhibit volatilization thereof, and then in an F2 fluorination step, the HF fluorination product is subjected to a reaction with a fluorine gas in two stages: one at a low temperature and the other at a high temperature, whereby a certain amount of gaseous uranium and volatile impurities are separated with plutonium kept in a solid form in the first stage, and mixed fluorides of remaining uranium and plutonium are fluorinated into hexafluorides at the same time in the second stage. By such a reprocessing method, plutonium enrichment can be adjusted, uranium and plutonium can be purified, and steps are simplified as well.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 4, 2005
    Date of Patent: April 24, 2007
    Assignee: Japan Nuclear Cycle Development Institute
    Inventors: Ippei Amamoto, Koji Sato
  • Patent number: 7172741
    Abstract: It is an object to increase a reprocessing speed of spent nuclear fuel and to obtain uranium having a high purity and a plutonium mixture reusable as it is at a low cost through a simple procedure. The spent nuclear fuel 1 is subjected to fluorination using fluorine 2 in a fluorination step 3, and as a result, uranium, a mixture of uranium and plutonium and a fission product are separated and recovered independently of one another. The plutonium fluoride volatilized in the fluorination is recovered along with a fixing agent and then passed through an oxidative conversion step 8, thereby recovering a mixture of uranium and plutonium oxides 9. Since the uranium can be recovered in a high purity, it is managed very easily when reused or saved. Further, since the uranium and plutonium are recovered as a mixture thereof, fuel reproduction cost is decreased and prevention of proliferation is strengthened.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 22, 2004
    Date of Patent: February 6, 2007
    Assignees: Hitachi, Ltd., Tokyo Electric Power Co., Inc.
    Inventors: Fumio Kawamura, Kuniyoshi Hoshino, Masakatsu Aoi, Akira Sasahira, Osamu Amano, Hiroaki Kobayashi
  • Patent number: 6827856
    Abstract: The present invention relates to a process for recovering copper from solutions from the recovery of iodine from industrial wastes from the production of ionic and non-ionic iodinated X-ray contrast agents by use of chelating resins suitable for removing copper from aqueous solutions. The absorbed copper is displaced by treating the resins with a 10% hydrochloric or sulfuric acid solution.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 2002
    Date of Patent: December 7, 2004
    Assignee: Bracco Imaging S.p.A.
    Inventors: Nicola Desantis, Salvatore Incandela
  • Patent number: 6602419
    Abstract: A process for the recovery of iodine from mother liquors or wastes containing iodinated organic compounds, by mineralisation of organic iodine and subsequent transformation of the formed iodide into elementary iodine, characterized in that the aqueous solution is concentrated to a suitable volume before the mineralisation step, under atmospheric pressure and at the boiling temperature, and said solution is purified by nanofiltration.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 17, 2001
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2003
    Assignee: Bracco Imagining S.p.A.
    Inventors: Nicola Desantis, Ilaria Peretto, Salvatore Incandela, Carlo Felice Viscardi
  • Patent number: 6120706
    Abstract: The present invention is directed to methods for converting depleted uranium hexafluoride to a stable depleted uranium silicide in a one-step reaction. Uranium silicide provides a stable aggregate material that can be added to concrete to increase the density of the concrete and, consequently, shield gamma radiation. As used herein, the term "uranium silicide" is defined as a compound generically having the formula U.sub.x Si.sub.y, wherein the x represents the molecules of uranium and the y represent the molecules of silicon. In accordance with the present invention, uranium hexafluoride is converted to a uranium silicide by contacting the uranium hexafluoride with a silicon-containing material at a temperature in a range between about 1450.degree. C. and about 1750.degree. C. The stable depleted uranium silicide is included as an aggregate in a radiation shielding product, such as a concrete product.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 27, 1998
    Date of Patent: September 19, 2000
    Assignee: Bechtel BWXT Idaho, LLC
    Inventors: Paul A. Lessing, Peter C. Kong
  • Patent number: 5787353
    Abstract: A process for the recovery of chemical values, particularly uranium, nickel and/or radionuclides from process equipment theretofore employed in a uranium hexafluoride isotope enrichment cascade. Preferably, the process is carried out, in situ, at subatmospheric pressure employing the existing process equipment from which the chemical values are to be recovered. In one aspect, the process includes recovery of uranium values employing a gaseous fluorinating agent at subatmospheric pressure, followed by recovery of nickel values employing a gaseous reactant comprising a mixture of carbon monoxide and a promoter, preferably hydrogen sulfide and at subatmospheric pressure.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 26, 1996
    Date of Patent: July 28, 1998
    Assignee: Southeastern Technologies, Inc.
    Inventors: Keith Kibbe, Aarne Visnapuu, Wilbur L. Kephart
  • Patent number: 5744116
    Abstract: Uranium fluoride compounds, in which the uranium is preferably present in the tetravalent or higher valency state, are reacted with a strong mineral acid, to yield a gaseous phase of hydrogen fluoride and a precipitate that is a uranium salt of the mineral acid. The precipitate can be subjected to thermal decomposition to recover the mineral acid and to obtain an oxide of uranium. The process provides an economical way of obtaining hydrogen fluoride from byproduct depleted UF.sub.6.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 8, 1994
    Date of Patent: April 28, 1998
    Assignee: Cameco Corporation
    Inventors: Brian C. Olson, John H. Wang, Dennis W. Prediger, Marlo S. Savoie, Dennis G. Garratt
  • Patent number: 5628048
    Abstract: Process for obtaining uranium trioxide from a uranyl nitrate solution, the trioxide obtained having to have a specific surface between 12 and 15 m.sup.2 /g, consisting of producing in a zone of the reaction chamber called the contact zone, a thermomechanical contact between the uranyl nitrate solution, atomized into fine droplets according to a given axis in the contact zone, and a gaseous fluid introduced into the contact zone, the gaseous fluid being at a sufficiently high temperature and having a sufficiently high mechanical energy to carry out, within the contact zone, the dehydration and calcination of the uranyl nitrate.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 28, 1996
    Date of Patent: May 6, 1997
    Assignee: Comurhex Societe Pour La Conversion De l'Uranium En Metal Et Hexafluorure
    Inventors: Gilbert Schaal, Robert Faron
  • Patent number: 5431891
    Abstract: Process for the treatment of a metal alloy based on uranium, generally in highly enriched form and other metallic elements, comprising a fluorination treatment with the aid of at least one fluorine-containing gas, optionally with an intermediate fluorination with the aid of a fluoric compound, a distillation treatment of the gaseous fluoride flow obtained in order to obtain pure uranium hexafluoride, as well as a mixing treatment of said hexafluoride with another more depleted hexafluoride to obtain the desired final isotopic content.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 8, 1993
    Date of Patent: July 11, 1995
    Assignee: Companie Generale des Matieres Nucleaires
    Inventors: Andre Gabriac, Airy-Pierre Lamaze, Roger Durand, Rene Romano
  • Patent number: 5202100
    Abstract: A method is disclosed for reducing the volume of a radioactive composition by separating a radioactive first component from a second component of the radioactive composition. The method includes directing the radioactive composition into a reaction zone. The reaction zone includes a molten bath, wherein oxidation of a component of the radioactive composition in the molten bath will cause separation of the radioactive first component from the second component. An oxidizing agent is directed into the molten bath, which oxidizes a component of the radioactive composition, whereby the radioactive first component is separated from the second component. The net volume of the radioactive composition is thereby reduced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 7, 1991
    Date of Patent: April 13, 1993
    Assignee: Molten Metal Technology, Inc.
    Inventors: Christopher J. Nagel, Robert D. Bach, William M. Haney, III
  • Patent number: 5185104
    Abstract: A method of treatment of a high-level radioactive waste comprising heating the radioactive waste at a high temperature of about 500.degree. to 3000.degree. C. to vaporize part of the elements contained in the radioactive waste, and cooling the resultant vapor to separately collect the elements. In one embodiment, the heating step is replaced by a reduction-heating step wherein heating is carried out in the presence of a reducing agent, e.g. hydrogen. In another embodiment, the heating step may be followed by the reduction-heating step.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 1991
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1993
    Assignee: Doryokuro Kakunenryo Kaihatsu Jigyodan
    Inventor: Misato Horie
  • Patent number: 5164050
    Abstract: A method of obtaining uranium metal from an oxidized uranium compound, characterized in that the oxidized compound is treated with chlorine and carbon at a first stage, to obtain a chloride which is reduced by electrolysis or metallothermy using a reducing metal at a second stage.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 3, 1990
    Date of Patent: November 17, 1992
    Assignee: Compagnie Europeenne du Zirconium Cezus
    Inventors: Yves Bertaud, Jean Boutin, Pierre Brun, Roger Durand, Antoine Floreancig, Airy-Pierre Lamaze, Roland Tricot
  • Patent number: 5098682
    Abstract: A process of preparing anhydrous actinide metal trichlorides of plutonium or neptunium by reacting an aqueous solution of an actinide metal trichloride selected from the group consisting of plutonium trichloride or neptunium trichloride with a reducing agent capable of converting the actinide metal from an oxidation state of +4 to +3 in a resultant solution, evaporating essentially all the solvent from the resultant solution to yield an actinide trichloride hydrate material, dehydrating the actinide trichloride hydrate material by heating the material in admixture with excess thionyl chloride, and recovering anhydrous actinide trichloride is provided.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 5, 1991
    Date of Patent: March 24, 1992
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Jerry Foropoulos, Jr., Larry R. Avens, Eddie A. Trujillo
  • Patent number: 4948478
    Abstract: The process of the present invention provides a gas steam of a mixture of UF.sub.6 isotopes and an inert gas, e.g. nitrogen, which is adiabatically expanded through a nozzle into a laser light excitation zone and photodissociated to form U-235 enriched UF.sub.5.After the gas stream has passed through the laser light excitation zone, XeF.sub.6 is fed into the process gas stream so the the xenon hexafluoride remains protected against the dissociating radiation. The XeF.sub.6 may be mixed with the same inert gas that is employed for the adiabatic cooling of the UF.sub.6. The XeF.sub.6 reaction with U-235 enriched UF.sub.5 produces a stable complex of UXeF.sub.11, which polymerizes to poly(pentafluoroxenonium(+1)-hexafluorouranate V), an intermediate product of the present process. The intermediate product may be thermally decomposed to form U-235 enriched UF.sub.6 or U-235 enriched .beta.-UF.sub.5.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: May 18, 1989
    Date of Patent: August 14, 1990
    Assignee: Uranit GmbH
    Inventor: Alexander Obermayer
  • Patent number: 4891192
    Abstract: Process for the purification of reprocessing uranium from which have previously been separated the fission products generated in a nuclear reactor and consisting of eliminating the U232 daughter products appearing during storage, by passing said uranium in its hexafluoride form through a chemically inert porous material.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 26, 1988
    Date of Patent: January 2, 1990
    Assignee: Uranium Pechiney
    Inventors: Alain Sarda, Jean-Pierre Segaud
  • Patent number: 4859441
    Abstract: A process for the preparation of uranium tetrafluoride by reduction of gaseous uranium hexafluoride using: (1) sulphur vapor with a minimum of halogen and/or a halide, chosen from among Cl.sub.2, Br.sub.2, S.sub.2 F.sub.2, SCL.sub.2, S.sub.2 Cl.sub.2, and S.sub.2 Br.sub.2 ; or (2) a minimum of one sulphur halide chosen from among S.sub.2 F.sub.2, SCL.sub.2, S.sub.2 CL.sub.2, and S.sub.2 Br.sub.2. The ratio R of the total number of gram-atoms of sulphur present during the reduction reaction to the number of gram-moles of UF.sub.6 is at least 0.6.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 1, 1988
    Date of Patent: August 22, 1989
    Assignee: Commissariat A L'Energie Atomique
    Inventor: Jacques Lambard
  • Patent number: 4830841
    Abstract: The present invention contemplates the conversion of uranium hexafluoride with superheated steam to produce a fine, submicron, uranyl fluoride powder which is agglomerated and densified in a fluidized bed of a uranium oxide material. Thereafter, the agglomerated and densified uranyl fluoride is defluorinated and reduced in the fluidized bed to yield a fluoride containing uranium oxide material having a uranium to oxygen ratio of from about 1:2.0 to about 1:2.67. The so-produced fluoride contains uranium oxide material treated with steam and hydrogen to produce ceramic grade uranium dioxide.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 17, 1986
    Date of Patent: May 16, 1989
    Assignee: Advanced Nuclear Fuels Corporation
    Inventor: Inaky J. Urza
  • Patent number: 4808390
    Abstract: A process for converting UF.sub.6 gas into UO.sub.2 powder comprising blowing UF.sub.6 gas and steam into a fluid bed to produce UO.sub.2 F.sub.2 particle, hydrating and dehydrating the UO.sub.2 F.sub.2 particle to UO.sub.2 F.sub.2 powder, and defluorinating and reducing the UO.sub.2 F.sub.2 powder to UO.sub.2 powder. The UO.sub.2 powder is suitable for manufacturing a reactor fuel owing to its high activity, low remaining fluorine amount and excellent fluidity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 2, 1986
    Date of Patent: February 28, 1989
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Kinzoku Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hiroshi Tanaka, Akio Umemura
  • Patent number: 4788048
    Abstract: A process for conversion of gaseous UF.sub.6 to UO.sub.2 powders by using a fluidized bed reaction apparatus comprising pyrohydrolizing gaseous UF.sub.6 and steam to obtain UO.sub.2 F.sub.2 particles, hydrating and dehydrating the UO.sub.2 F.sub.2 particles to UO.sub.2 F.sub.2 anhydride and reducing the UO.sub.2 F.sub.2 anhydride to UO.sub.2 powders. The obtained UO.sub.2 powders are suitable for production of nuclear fuels in power plant owing to its good ceramic properties, low fluorine contents and free flowability.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 9, 1986
    Date of Patent: November 29, 1988
    Assignee: Mitsubishi Kinzoku Kabushiki Kaisha
    Inventors: Hiroshi Tanaka, Akio Umemura
  • Patent number: 4783322
    Abstract: Method for fluorination of actinides and fluorides and oxyfluorides thereof using O.sub.2 F.sub.2 which generates actinide hexafluorides, and for removal of actinides and compounds thereof from surfaces upon which they appear as unwanted deposits. The fluorinating agent, O.sub.2 F.sub.2, has been observed to readily perform the above-described tasks at sufficiently low temperatures that there is virtually no damage to the containment vessels. Moreover, the resulting actinide hexafluorides are thereby not destroyed by high temperature reactions with the walls of the reaction vessel. Dioxygen difluoride is easily prepared, stored and transferred to the desired place of reaction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 1, 1984
    Date of Patent: November 8, 1988
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Phillip G. Eller, John G. Malm, Robert A. Penneman
  • Patent number: 4752454
    Abstract: This invention provides a method for the preparation of ultrapure active metal fluorides of increased purity from their metal oxides by reacting an active metal with a predetermined amount of HF(aq) to form a solid reaction product which is dried under controlled heating to form a hydrated fluoride. This hydrated active metal fluoride is then subjected to reactive atmosphere processing comprising hydrofluoric acid vapor in a CO.sub.2 reactive carrier gas and a selected fluoride compound in the gas phase for a predetermined period of time to further increase anion purity.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 27, 1984
    Date of Patent: June 21, 1988
    Assignee: Hughes Aircraft Company
    Inventors: Ricardo C. Pastor, Luisa E. Gorre
  • Patent number: 4724127
    Abstract: Method for recovery of actinides from nuclear waste material containing sintered and other oxides thereof using O.sub.2 F.sub.2 to generate the hexafluorides of the actinides present therein. The fluorinating agent, O.sub.2 F.sub.2, has been observed to perform the above-described tasks at sufficiently low temperatures that there is virtually no damage to the containment vessels. Moreover, the resulting actinide hexafluorides are not destroyed by high temperature reactions with the walls of the reaction vessel. Dioxygen difluoride is readily prepared, stored and transferred to the place of reaction.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 17, 1987
    Date of Patent: February 9, 1988
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Larned B. Asprey, Phillip G. Eller
  • Patent number: 4710222
    Abstract: Method for removal of plutonium impurity from americium oxides and fluorides. AmF.sub.4 is not further oxidized to AmF.sub.6 by the application of O.sub.2 F at room temperature, while plutonium compounds present in the americium sample are fluorinated to volatile PuF.sub.6, which can readily be separated therefrom, leaving the purified americium oxides and/or fluorides as the solid tetrafluoride.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 13, 1987
    Date of Patent: December 1, 1987
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: John R. FitzPatrick, Jerry G. Dunn, Larry R. Avens
  • Patent number: 4687605
    Abstract: An automated fuel rod production system includes a radioactive powder fabrication and processing stage, a pellet fabrication stage, a pellet processing stage, a tube preparation stage and a fuel rod fabrication and inspection stage, all of which provide a continuous (paced) mode of operation from the conversion of a radioactive gas to powder, through the fabrication of the powder into pellets, to completion of the assembly of the fuel rods. Extra capacity is designed into the system at critical points in the powder processing and pellet fabrication and processing stages to facilitate the continuous, paced mode of operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 19, 1985
    Date of Patent: August 18, 1987
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventors: Francis Cellier, Robert T. Graulty, Wendell L. Johnson, David M. Batson, John C. Limpert, Christopher K. C. Wu, George D. Bucher, Clarence D. John, Jr., John E. Steinkirchner, Paula J. Larouere, Hemant H. Shah, Robert A. Williams
  • Patent number: 4666684
    Abstract: A process and apparatus for separating uranium-containing particulate matter from the off-gas stream of a calciner, without condensation of ammonium fluoride from the gas stream along with the particulate matter, wherein the off-gas is passed through a filter while maintained at a temperature in excess of 340.degree. C. Preferably, the off-gas stream is forced through the filter by an aspirator, located downstream of the filter, and the filter comprises a plurality of filter units in side-by-side relationship, each of said filter units being purged by a nitrogen gas stream while the off-gas stream continues to flow through the remainder of the filter units for a continuous filtering operation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 14, 1984
    Date of Patent: May 19, 1987
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventor: Ronald O. Noe
  • Patent number: 4555318
    Abstract: A method of purifying a UF.sub.6 gas stream containing one or more metal fluoride impurities composed of a transuranic metal, transition metal or mixtures thereof, is carried out by contacting the gas stream with a bed of UF.sub.5 in a reaction vessel under conditions where at least one impurity reacts with the UF.sub.5 to form a nongaseous product and a treated gas stream, and removing the treated gas stream from contact with the bed. The nongaseous products are subsequently removed in a reaction with an active fluorine affording agent to form a gaseous impurity which is removed from the reaction vessel. The bed of UF.sub.5 is formed by the reduction of UF.sub.6 in the presence of UV light. One embodiment of the reaction vessel includes a plurality of UV light sources as tubes on which UF.sub.5 is formed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 6, 1984
    Date of Patent: November 26, 1985
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventor: James V. Beitz
  • Patent number: 4544531
    Abstract: A process for the purification of uranium hexafluoride containing traces of neptunium fluoride and/or plutonium fluoride, wherein the uranium hexafluoride to be purified is contacted with a metal fluoride chosen from the group including lead fluoride PbF.sub.2, uranium fluorides of UF.sub.4+x in which x has a value between 0 and 1 and chromium trifluoride CrF.sub.3, at a temperature such that the plutonium and/or neptunium fluorides are reduced, and wherein the thus purified uranium hexafluoride is recovered.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 10, 1983
    Date of Patent: October 1, 1985
    Assignee: Commissariat a l'Energie Atomique
    Inventors: Jacques Aubert, Louis Bethuel, Maurice Carles
  • Patent number: 4522794
    Abstract: A process for converting an actinide compound selected from the group consisting of uranium oxides, plutonium oxides, uranium tetrafluorides, plutonium tetrafluorides and mixtures of said oxides and tetrafluorides, to the corresponding volatile actinide hexafluoride by fluorination with a stoichiometric excess of fluorine gas. The improvement involves conducting the fluorination of the plutonium compounds in the presence of a fluoride catalyst selected from the group consisting of CoF.sub.3, AgF.sub.2 and NiF.sub.2, whereby the fluorination is significantly enhanced. The improvement also involves conducting the fluorination of one of the uranium compounds in the presence of a fluoride catalyst selected from the group consisting of CoF.sub.3 and AgF.sub.2, whereby the fluorination is significantly enhanced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 25, 1983
    Date of Patent: June 11, 1985
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Department of Energy
    Inventors: Robert C. Hochel, Kathy A. Saturday
  • Patent number: 4519986
    Abstract: The specification discloses a process for the preparation of ultrapure thorium fluoride (ThF.sub.4) having minimized water content and consequent maximized optical transmission of 10.6 micrometer radiation. First, thorium oxide is reacted with aqueous hydrofluoric acid to form a solid reaction product, which is then dried under controlled heating to form a hydrated thorium fluoride with a predetermined amount of hydration, namely ThF.sub.4.xH.sub.2 O where x is equal to 0.39. The hydrated thorium fluoride is exposed to a reactive atmosphere of hydrofluoric acid vapor and a selected fluoride compound in the gas phase at elevated temperature for a predetermined period of time. The reactive atmosphere removes substantially all of the water and water-derived impurities from the hydrated thorium fluoride to produce ultrapure thorium fluoride which is highly transmissive to 10.6 micrometer radiation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 28, 1982
    Date of Patent: May 28, 1985
    Assignee: Hughes Aircraft Company
    Inventors: Ricardo C. Pastor, Remedios K. Chew
  • Patent number: 4518569
    Abstract: A physico-chemical cleaning process for the inner walls of a reactor which serves to maintain these walls in a state close to their main initial characteristics necessitated by a fluorination reaction, said characteristics being degraded by the deposition of a parasitic phase during the reaction, said initial characteristics being maintained by the use of a protective agent belonging to the group constituted by at least one of the reagents, a product resulting from the reaction, a product foreign to the reaction, but compatible with the substances of the main reaction or by the reaction of a third substance with at least one of the reaction substances or a mixture thereof, forming a renewable protective film on the said walls. The protective agent can be deposited by condensation on the walls before, during or after the main reaction, and then vaporized. The protective agent can be in liquid form, and trickling along the walls.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 18, 1980
    Date of Patent: May 21, 1985
    Assignee: Pechine Ugine Kuhlmann
    Inventors: Michel Perrot, Michel Jaccaud
  • Patent number: 4434139
    Abstract: A process for removing adhering or dust-like deposits in an apparatus which handles uranium hexafluoride. The process includes the steps of:(a) reacting the deposits with a gaseous boron halogenide other than boron trifluoride, to form at least one uranium halogenide; and(b) reacting the at least one uranium halogenide with a fluorine containing substance to form uranium hexafluoride.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 10, 1981
    Date of Patent: February 28, 1984
    Assignees: Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH, Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-N/u/ rnberg AG
    Inventors: Walter Bacher, Eberhard Jacob
  • Patent number: 4421727
    Abstract: Salts of the formula NF.sub.4.sup.+ MF.sub.7.sup.- are produced by the fowing reactionNF.sub.4 HF.sub.2 nHF+MF.sub.6 .fwdarw.NF.sub.4 MF.sub.7 +(n+1)HFwherein M is uranium (U) or tungsten (W).
    Type: Grant
    Filed: June 25, 1982
    Date of Patent: December 20, 1983
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the Secretary of the Navy
    Inventors: William W. Wilson, Karl O. Christe
  • Patent number: 4364906
    Abstract: This invention is a method for effecting preferential removal and immobilization of certain gaseous contaminants from gaseous UF.sub.6. The contaminants include fluorine and fluorides which are more reactive with CaCO.sub.3 than is UF.sub.6. The method comprises contacting the contaminant-carrying UF.sub.6 with particulate CaCO.sub.3 at a temperature effecting reaction of the contaminant and the CaCO.sub.3.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 24, 1980
    Date of Patent: December 21, 1982
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventors: Robert L. Jones, Milton G. Otey, Roy W. Perkins
  • Patent number: 4311678
    Abstract: This invention pertains to a method for removing deposits of uranium compounds in uranium hexafluoride handling equipment. A fluorocarbon containing bromine is internally injected into the handling equipment at or below ambient pressure and this brominating agent removes uranium compounds which have been formed therein. A fluoridating agent is also preferably used in conjunction with the fluorocarbon containing bromine.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 23, 1980
    Date of Patent: January 19, 1982
    Assignees: Maschinenfabrik Augsburg-Nurnberg Aktiengesellschaft, Kernforschungszentrum Karlsruhe GmbH
    Inventors: Eberhard Jacob, Walter Bacher
  • Patent number: 4304757
    Abstract: A method of controlling the molybdenum content of uranium yellowcake which is precipitated from an eluate of ammonium carbonate. The pH of the eluate is maintained at a relatively high value, i.e., never less than 9.3, while the eluate is heated to strip off ammonia, carbon dioxide, and water. Ammonia is added to the eluate during heating to keep the pH high and the molybdenum in solution in the eluate. Also, the precipitated uranium yellowcake may be treated by adding aqueous ammonia and heating to form an insoluble uranium salt and a soluble molybdenum salt which can be filtered to produce a uranium yellowcake having a reduced molybdenum content.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: August 4, 1977
    Date of Patent: December 8, 1981
    Assignee: Mobil Oil Corporation
    Inventors: Guenter H. Kuehl, Howard S. Sherry
  • Patent number: 4293528
    Abstract: This information relates to the recovery of uranium from uranium peroxide yellowcake produced by precipitation with hydrogen peroxide. The yellowcake is calcined at an elevated temperature to effect decomposition of the yellowcake to uranium oxide with the attendant evolution of free oxygen. The calcination step is carried out in the presence of a reducing agent which reacts with the free oxygen, thus retarding the evolution of chlorine gas from sodium chloride in the yellowcake. Suitable reducing agents include ammonia producing compounds such as ammonium carbonate and ammonium bicarbonate. Ammonium carbonate and/or ammonium bicarbonate may be provided in the eluant used to desorb the uranium from an ion exchange column.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 19, 1979
    Date of Patent: October 6, 1981
    Assignee: Mobil Oil Corporation
    Inventor: James M. Paul
  • Patent number: 4286153
    Abstract: Method and apparatus for separation of an isotope substance from a mixture of isotope substances such as UF.sub.6 by adiabatically decompressing the mixture in vaporous or gaseous form to cool the mixture to a temperature below 100.degree. K. and irradiating by an electromagnetic wave selectively absorbed by an isotope substance, passing the mixture after cooling and irradiating in a diffuser at a velocity greater than the speed of sound and decelerating to convert the velocity into pressure with reduced velocity of the mixture. The higher pressure results in substantial reduction in operating costs and capital investment.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 9, 1976
    Date of Patent: August 25, 1981
    Assignee: Kraftwerk Union Aktiengesellschaft
    Inventors: Karl Janner, Klaus Gregorius, Eberhard Schuster
  • Patent number: 4278559
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for processing spent nuclear reactor fuel wherein plutonium is continuously contaminated with radioactive fission products and diluted with uranium. Plutonium of sufficient purity to fabricate nuclear weapons cannot be produced by the process or in the disclosed reprocessing plant. Diversion of plutonium is prevented by radiation hazards and ease of detection.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 1978
    Date of Patent: July 14, 1981
    Assignee: Electric Power Research Institute
    Inventors: Milton Levenson, Edwin L. Zebroski
  • Patent number: 4255404
    Abstract: Method and apparatus for separating isotopes in an isotopic mixture of atoms or molecules by increasing the mass differential among isotopic species. The mixture containing a particular isotope is selectively irradiated so as to selectively excite the isotope. This preferentially excited species is then reacted rapidly with an additional preselected radiation, an electron or another chemical species so as to form a product containing the specific isotope, but having a mass different than the original species initially containing the particular isotope. The product and the remaining balance of the mixture is then caused to flow through a device which separates the product from the mixture based upon the increased mass differential.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 22, 1977
    Date of Patent: March 10, 1981
    Assignee: Westinghouse Electric Corp.
    Inventor: Cheng-lin Chen
  • Patent number: 4244697
    Abstract: Uranium hexafluoride having a high U-235 content is driven out of a transportation container by heating in a correspondingly heated container using a halogenated hydrogen free organic liquid as the heating medium. There is also provided an apparatus for carrying out the process comprising a container having a reflux condenser and an insert for holding the transportation container closed at the bottom by condensate outlet.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: December 12, 1977
    Date of Patent: January 13, 1981
    Assignee: Nukem, GmbH
    Inventors: Horst Vietzke, Paul Borner, Gerhard Wagner
  • Patent number: 4234550
    Abstract: A process for treating a particulate uranium oxide composition containing ammonium diuranate precursors such as uranyl fluoride and uranyl nitrate, along with possible impurities, is disclosed. The process comprises the steps of (a) contacting the composition with a sufficient amount of an ammonium hydroxide solution to convert the ammonium diuranate precursors to ammonium diuranate, and (b) heating the composition under a controlled atmosphere at a temperature sufficient to dry the composition, sublime any ammonium fluoride present, and convert the ammonium diuranate to uranium dioxide. In a first modification of the invention, there is practiced the additional step of moving the composition, preferably by mechanically agitating the composition, prior to the heating step, or during the heating step, or both prior to and during the heating step, for a sufficient time to produce rounded agglomerates in the form of a readily flowable powder.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: November 8, 1976
    Date of Patent: November 18, 1980
    Assignee: General Electric Company
    Inventor: William R. DeHollander
  • Patent number: H659
    Abstract: A process for making uranium metal from uranium oxide by first fluorinating uranium oxide to form uranium tetrafluoride and next electrolytically reducing the uranium tetrafluoride with a carbon anode to form uranium metal and CF.sub.4. The CF.sub.4 is reused in the fluorination reaction rather than being disposed of as a hazardous waste.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 6, 1989
    Date of Patent: August 1, 1989
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventor: Paul A. Haas
  • Patent number: H857
    Abstract: An electrolytic process for making uranium from uranium oxide using Cl.sub.2 anode product from an electrolytic cell to react with UO.sub.2 to form uranium chlorides. The chlorides are used in low concentrations in a melt comprising fluorides and chlorides of potassium, sodium and barium in the electrolytic cell. The electrolysis produces Cl.sub.2 at the anode that reacts with UO.sub.2 in the feed reactor to form soluble UCl.sub.4, available for a continuous process in the electrolytic cell, rather than having insoluble UO.sub.2 fouling the cell.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 26, 1990
    Date of Patent: December 4, 1990
    Assignee: The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy
    Inventor: Paul A. Haas