|About this Abstract
||2021 TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition
||High Temperature Electrochemistry IV
||Fundamental Challenges for the Development of Electrolytic Reduction of Uranium Oxide in Molten LiCl-Li2O
||Jarom L. Chamberlain, Adam Burak, Mario Gonzalez, Michael F. Simpson
|On-Site Speaker (Planned)
||Jarom L. Chamberlain
Electrolytic uranium oxide reduction has the potential to be a process for recycling spent fuel from commercial light water reactors to advanced nuclear reactors—including molten salt reactors and metal fueled reactors. However, several problems with the process have been identified that need to be addressed to support efficient, cost-effective commercial implementation. Process optimization requires attention to corrosion, anode stability, cell efficiency, and cathode product purity. Generation of oxygen bubbles at the anode combined with high temperature (650oC) and molten chloride salt (LiCl + 1 wt% Li2O) create an oxidizing environment for metals needed for salt containment and shrouding the anode. Methods for removing water and hydroxides from the salt will be reported that improve cell efficiency. Uranium oxide can be reduced chemically by reaction with electrochemically generated lithium atoms or electrolytically with direct reduction of UO2. The reduction mechanism also affects the buildup of entrained lithium oxide.