For the recovery of fuel materials from spent nuclear fuel, a novel reprocessing process based on the selective sulfurization of fission products (FP) has been proposed, where FP and minor actinides (MA) are first sulfurized by CS2 gas, and then, dissolved by a dilute nitric acid solution. Consequently, the fuel elements are recovered as UO2 and PuO2. As a basic research of this new concept, the sulfurization and dissolution behaviors of U, Pu, Np, Am, Eu, Cs, and Sr were investigated by γ-ray and α spectrometries in this paper using 236Pu-, 237Np-, 241Am-, 152Eu-, 137Cs-, and 85Sr-doped U3O8 samples. The dependence of the dissolution ratio of each element on the sulfurization temperature was studied and reasonably explained by combining the information of the sulfide phase analysis and the chemical thermodynamics of the dissolution reaction. The sulfurization temperature ranging from 350 to 450°C seems to be promising for the separation of FP and MA from U and Pu, since a clear difference in the dissolution ratio between FP and U was derived by the sulfurization treatment in this temperature range.
- Selective sulfurization
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Nuclear Energy and Engineering