[ RadSafe ] A little more on the Reprocessing process

Yahoo Mail Inc jjc105 at yahoo.com
Tue May 21 18:51:10 CDT 2013

Thanks Tim,
    In the late 1960's, as a refugee from the recently defunct Plowshare 
program, I was directed to learn everything about nuclear waste management. 
(Underground disposal of nucwaste into cavities created by underground nuclear 
explosions was thought to be a viable option at the time) It seemed that the 
best place to learn was at the West Valley plant, so I was sent there to become 
an "overnight expert".  I will always be grateful for the time and patience they 
gave me. Too bad the operation at West Valley was not allowed to continue. 
Perhaps, if it had, we might not be facing the impass we are in. The safe and 
economic management of nuclear waste should never have become the intractable 
problem that it has. Too bad that it has become a problem to be studied, and not 
one to be solved.
Jerry Cohen

From: Timothy Rice <tbrice at gw.dec.state.ny.us>
To: radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu
Sent: Tue, May 21, 2013 5:40:39 AM
Subject: [ RadSafe ] A little more on the Reprocessing process

Jerry and Franz,
At the former commercial West Valley spent fuel reprocessing facility incoming 
fuel was cut into short segments using a hydraulic shear, and the cladding 
segments and contained fuel dropped into a transfer basket (no need to 
physically extract the fuel out of the segments of cladding).  A bit of a "brute 
force" approach but simple and efficient, though it did leave some residual fuel 
fines on the floor of the cell where the shearing was performed. The basket was 
then transferred to a separate hot cell where the fuel (but not the cladding) 
was dissolved in acid prior to the extraction process. The remaining segments of 
cladding, referred to as "hulls", were removed and sent for disposal in an 
on-site NRC-licensed disposal facility referred to by the workers as the hull 
burial area.  

Hope that helps,

Message: 3
Date: Mon, 20 May 2013 21:54:49 +0200
From: Franz Sch?nhofer <franz.schoenhofer at chello.at>
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Spent Fuel, Fuel Rod Bundles, Reprocessing,
    Robotics,    etc.
To: "The International Radiation Protection \(Health Physics\) Mailing
    List"    <radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>
Message-ID: <7B5A1AE9F353400A95C074E84B9C51FE at fPC>
Content-Type: text/plain; format=flowed; charset="iso-8859-1";


If memory serves me well (and I am sure it does!) then the first step in 
reprocessing is cutting the fuel rods into small pieces and then proceed 
with dissolving cladding and fuel in suitable acids and treat the solution 
according to its chemical composition to retrieve the plutonium and/or 
uranium in a pure form while simultaneously separating it from fission 
products. In other words, it is done exactly as you describe it.

Best regard


-----Urspr?ngliche Nachricht----- 
From: Yahoo Mail Inc
Sent: Monday, May 20, 2013 9:40 PM
To: The International Radiation Protection (Health Physics) Mailing List
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Spent Fuel, Fuel Rod Bundles, Reprocessing, 

Why not just dissolve the whole thing, fuel pellets and clading in nitric 
acid ,
or other suitable solvent and proceed from there. I thought fuel 
was a relatively well established technology in Pu production and, to a 
extent in reprocessing commercial nuclesr fuel. I cannot understand the 
for extracting the fuel from the cladding as a first step. Please explain.
Jerry Cohen

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