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Research Papers

Transfer and Storage of Molten Salt for the Pyroprocessing of Used Nuclear Fuel

[+] Author and Article Information
Matthew C. Morrison

Nuclear Science and Technology Division, Idaho National Laboratory,
Idaho Falls, ID 83415-6180
e-mail: morrisonidc@yahoo.com

Kenneth J. Bateman

Mem. ASME
Nuclear Science and Technology Division, Idaho National Laboratory,
P.O. Box 1625,
Idaho Falls, ID 83415-618
e-mail: ken.bateman@inl.gov

1Present address: 614 Westwood Drive, Marshalltown, IA 50158.

Manuscript received February 1, 2015; final manuscript received October 15, 2015; published online December 20, 2016. Assoc. Editor: Jovica R. Riznic.The United States Government retains, and by accepting the article for publication, the publisher acknowledges that the United States Government retains, a nonexclusive, paid-up, irrevocable, worldwide license to publish or reproduce the published form of this work, or allow others to do so, for United States government purposes.

ASME J of Nuclear Rad Sci 3(1), 011001 (Dec 20, 2016) (8 pages) Paper No: NERS-15-1016; doi: 10.1115/1.4032999 History: Received February 01, 2015; Accepted March 08, 2016

A vacuum-induced salt transfer and storage (VISTAS) system is being evaluated to improve transfer and storage of molten electrorefiner (ER) salts at Idaho National Laboratory (INL). Salt is transferred by vacuum through a heated drawtube into a storage container. To control salt flow, a redundant level switch triggered by salt thermal conductivity and a preset temperature threshold activate a solenoid, stopping argon supply to the vacuum pump. A fail-safe cooling coil freezes the salt, halting its flow if the level switch malfunctions. The VISTAS system allows safe, timely salt transfer and reduces the storage footprint of current salt-removal methods.

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References

Stevenson, C. E., 1987, The EBR-II Fuel Cycle Story, American Nuclear Society Publishing, LaGrange, IL, p. 87.
Benedict, R., Goff, M., Teske, G., and Johnson, T., 2002, “Progress in Electrometallurgical Treatment of Spent Nuclear Fuel,” Nucl. Sci. Technol., 39(Suppl. 3), pp. 749–752. 10.1080/00223131.2002.10875575
Goff, K. M., Benedict, R. W., Howden, K. L., Teske, G. M., and Johnson, T. A., 2005, “Pyrochemical Treatment of Spent Nuclear Fuel,” Proceedings of GLOBAL 2005, Atomic Energy Society of Japan (AESJ), Tsukuba, Japan, .
Simpson, M. F., Goff, K. M., Johnson, S. G., Bateman, K. J., Battisti, T. J., Toews, K. L., Frank, S. M., Moschetti, T. L., and O’Holleran, T. P., 2001, “A Description of the Ceramic Waste Form Production Process From the Demonstration Phase of the Electrometallurgical Treatment of EBR-II Spent Fuel,” Nucl. Technol., 134(3), pp. 263–277. 0029-5450
Priebe, S. J., and Bateman, K. J., 2006, “The Ceramic Waste Form Process at the Idaho National Laboratory,” International Pyroprocessing Research Conference, Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID.

Figures

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Fig. 1

Three BHS container assemblies arranged in an inner storage waste can

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Fig. 2

ER salt-withdrawal interface option

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Fig. 3

Conceptual VISTAS system

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Fig. 4

VISTAS system in a mock-up glovebox

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Fig. 5

Container pressurization salt-removal concept

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Fig. 6

Salt container—model and prototype

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Fig. 7

Layout of salt molds stored within two alternative containers: one inner cask liner and one outer cask

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Fig. 8

Retractable level switch

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Fig. 9

Remote sensor head settings

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Fig. 10

Ameritrol level switch calibrator model MC-5

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Fig. 11

Photograph of level switch probe tip and salt

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Fig. 12

Vaccon vacuum pump

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Fig. 13

Cooling coil configuration (salt level switch not shown for clarity)

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Fig. 14

Cooling coil. Right: the cooling coil with insulation removed to show the heat tape woven between the coils for reheating

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