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Advances in Heterogeneous Autocatalytic Reactions Applied to Uranium Dissolution

Abstract : Dissolution is a milestone of the head-end of hydrometallurgical processes used for recycling spent nuclear fuel. The solubilization of the chemical elements is essential before performing the liquid-liquid extraction steps to separate reusable material and final waste. This study aims at better understanding the chemical, physico-chemical and hydrodynamic phenomena of uranium dioxide dissolution reactions in nitric medium. This study is also part of a modeling approach aiming at expressing the intrinsic reaction rates and describing of the physico-chemical phenomena at interfaces. Optical microscopy confirmed the highly autocatalytic nature of the reaction and led to measurements, for the very first time, of true chemical kinetics of the reaction. The acid attack of sintering-manufactured solids occurs through preferential attack sites. It develops cracks in the solids that can lead to the cleavage of the solid. This inhomogeneous attack is made possible by the establishment of bubbling in the cracks which allows periodic renewal of the reagents and thus maintains the reaction within the cracks. This point is a key component of the mechanism a strong link between the development of cracks, bubbling through the cracks, and overall dissolution kinetics is demonstrated in this work. Finally, a model coupling material balance to the structural evolution of the solid and liquid phase compositions, and taking into account the interfacial transport is proposed. The simulations based on this model are close to the experimental observations, and allow to reproduce for the very the first time the effect of various reaction parameters, such as the reduction of overall kinetics when turbulence increases.
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https://hal-cea.archives-ouvertes.fr/cea-02506822
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 3:31:54 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, April 28, 2020 - 11:28:18 AM

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  • HAL Id : cea-02506822, version 1

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A. Magnaldo, P. Marc, E. Schaer. Advances in Heterogeneous Autocatalytic Reactions Applied to Uranium Dissolution. GLOBAL 2015, Sep 2015, Paris, France. ⟨cea-02506822⟩

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