Dissolution Performance of Plutonium Nitride Based Fuel Materials
Paper in proceedings, 2016
Nitride fuels have been regarded as one viable fuel option for Generation IV reactors due to their positive features compared to oxides. To be able to close the fuel cycle and follow the Generation IV concept, nitrides must, however, demonstrate their ability to be reprocessed. This means that the dissolution performance of actinide based nitrides has to be thoroughly investigated and assessed. As the zirconium stabilized nitrides show even better potential as fuel material than does the pure actinide containing nitrides, investigations on the dissolution behavior of both PuN and (Pu,Zr)N has been undertaken. If possible it is desirable to perform the fuel dissolutions using nitric acid. This, as most reprocessing strategies using solvent-solvent extraction are based on a nitride containing aqueous matrix. (Pu,Zr)N/C microspheres were produced using internal gelation. The spheres dissolution performance was investigated using nitric acid with and without additions of HF and Ag(II). In addition PuN fuel pellets were produced from powder and their dissolution performance were also assessed in a nitric acid based setting.