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Title: Laboratory development of the grind-leach process for the H.T.G.C.R. fuel cycle, Part 4 - leaching and dissolution of beryllia-based fuels.
Authors: Shying, ME
Lee, EJ
Farrell, MS
Issue Date: Jul-1967
Publisher: Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation
Abstract: This report covers the chemical development of an acid-leach head-end process for the separation of (U,Th)02 from a beryllia matrix. The work is related to a feasibility study of the H.G.T.C.R. fuel cycle. Although more than 99 per cent of the actinides can be recovered in a single batch nitric acid leach, more than 30 per cent of the beryllia is dissolved. When it was found that sulphuric acid selectively dissolved the beryllia, a two-step process using nitric and sulphuric acids in sequence was developed, with recycling of the actinide-rich heel to the next batch. Preliminary results from multi-batch experiments indicate that it might be possible to decrease the beryllia loss to the nitrate stream to 10 per cent and still recover 99 per cent of the actinides. Further development of the process would involve the use of proven reactor material irradiated to high burn-up. Suggestions for further research are given.
Appears in Collections:Scientific and Technical Reports

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