Improvements in processing materials

 

The present group of inventions provides methods and devices for processing uranium fuel materials, such as uranium, reprocessed uranium, uranium-containing waste and uranium-containing nuclear fuel. The processes include the fluorination of uranium-containing material and the separation of uranium-bearing material from other materials based on their ionization, with the return of UN-ionized fluorine-containing material in the loop. This may result in the production of metal uranium and/or plutonium, and/or fission products. The technical result consists in expanding the range of materials and reducing the complexity and number of stages, which are included in the process. 6 C. and 28 C.p. f-crystals, 7 Il.

The present invention relates to improvements in processing materials, mainly (but not exclusively) the processing of the fuel materials for nuclear reactors, materials, included in the nuclear fuel cycle, and materials used in the nuclear fuel industry.

Production of highly enriched nuclear fuel is a long and difficult process. So, starting from mined uranium ore, this process is to form and quality, which would allow to produce fuel pellets.

Relevant prior art system for converting ore material suitable for enrichment, physical or chemical methods, almost always use a number of "wet" processes of chemical technology. For example, the original uranium oxide concentrate on the process of uranyl nitrate uranyl; this material is converted into UO3on stage denitration; then perform the restore UO3with his conversion to UO2; under hydroperiodide get UF4and then the subsequent fluorination - UF6used as source material in the known processes of enrichment.

Such complex chemical and physical stage, usually using "wet" technological processes are applied when reusing spent nuclear fuel and other uranium-containing raw materials.

There is also known a method (and corresponding device) gazitano processing of uranium-containing feedstock (in particular, spent nuclear fuel), suggesting the initiation of high-temperature diffusion and forredigering Raju surface. Thermal decomposition of some of the higher fluorides inhibit shift of the equilibrium in the zone with the given temperature gradient, optionally enriched with fluorine, and the subsequent transmission of the flow of two-phase ow of fluoride through the cooling zone with the translation of the entire system in the area of sustainable livelihoods (see RF patent 2093469, 20.10.1997).

The present invention aims to offer an alternative way of converting a variety of source materials containing uranium and other nuclear materials in various end products, including materials fuel quality.

According to the first aspect of the present invention, we provide a method of processing uranium source material, including the introduction of uranium source material into contact with gaseous fluorine to form fluoride uranium, in which after the formation of the fluoride uranium submit the above-mentioned fluoride of uranium in the cascade separation to convert the above-mentioned fluoride of uranium in the plasma, and at least part of the uranium ionize and at least part of the fluorine leave ionized, the ionized components held in a magnetic field with the formation of the first product stream, and deionized to use the mentioned second product flow at the above stage of contacting gaseous fluorine uranium source material.

Mentioned uranium source material may be uranium ore. This ore can be raw and/or have a relatively high uranium content.

Mentioned uranium source material may be uranium and/or uranium oxide obtained by the regeneration of uranium and/or uranium-containing material previously used in the nuclear fuel cycle.

Mentioned uranium source material can be uranium remaining after performing one or more processes, such as streams obtained in the enrichment processes, including waste streams or by-products of such processes.

Mentioned uranium source material may be a spent nuclear fuel from a nuclear reactor. Spent fuel may contain, in addition to uranium, fission products and/or plutonium isotopes.

One or more of the above types of source material can be brought into the process at the same time.

The resulting fluoride uranium can be represented in the form of a mixture of fluorides, but preferably the predominant fluoride of uranium is uranium hexafluoride.

Before mentioned cascade separation can be provided by the stage isplace torid uranium can be used as a starting material in any process of enrichment and/or may be retained, and/or transported to a remote place, and/or sold. In this stage of the process can be derived impurities, especially when uranium source material is uranium ore. These impurities can be extracted in the form of fluorinated impurities.

Mentioned cascade separation can be performed in accordance with the information below.

Mentioned first product stream may contain uranium metal. Uranium metal can be used in the production of magnocavallo fuel. Uranium metal can be used as a starting material for a subsequent process, for example, the enrichment process. This enrichment process can be a process based on the separation of isotopes by evaporation using lasers (AVLIS), and/or another process that uses a metal source material, and it can be executed in accordance with the information below. Mentioned first product flow, especially in the case of use as a source material of the spent fuel may contain uranium and/or plutonium, and/or fission products in the elemental form. This simple form can be used as is suitable for storing the flax is essentially fluorine. Fluorine may be in atomic form, but preferably it is allowed to recombine into molecular form F2.

Mentioned second flow of product may be subjected to processing before filing in the above-mentioned stage of contacting gaseous fluorine uranium material. The process may include cleaning of the fluorine with the removal of other substances. Concentration and/or amount of fluorine in said second product stream can be increased by using an external source before applying to the above-mentioned stage of contacting gaseous fluorine uranium material. Mentioned external source can be performed in accordance with a third aspect of the present invention.

According to the second aspect of the present invention, we provide a device for processing uranium source material containing the first installation of shielding uranium source material with gaseous fluorine to react with fluorine mentioned uranium-containing material to form a fluoride of uranium and second installation, forming a cascade of separation for filing it mentioned fluoride uranium containing plasma generator for converting cited is part of the fluorine is unionised, moreover, the cascade separation also includes means for generating a magnetic field for retaining ionized components and the formation of the first product stream and a means for removal of the above-mentioned magnetic field of ionized particles with the formation of the second product stream for reuse in the above-mentioned first setting for contacting mentioned uranium source material and gaseous fluorine.

According to a third aspect of the present invention, we provide a method of fluorination of uranium source material, including the introduction of uranium source material into contact with gaseous fluorine to react with fluorine uranium-containing starting material with the formation of fluoride, uranium, and mentioned gaseous fluorine is obtained by filing a fluorine-containing material in the cascade separation for fluorine-containing material for converting mentioned fluorine-containing material into the plasma, and at least part of the non-fluorine component mentioned fluorine-containing material ionize and at least part of the fluorine component of the fluorine-containing material leave ionized, ionized whom the holding material, and ionized components of the output of the above-mentioned magnetic field with the formation of the second product flow cascade separation for fluorine-containing material, and then referred to the second product flow cascade separation for fluorine-containing material serves on the aforementioned stage contacting of gaseous fluorine uranium source material.

Mentioned uranium source material may be the same as defined with respect to the first aspect of the present invention. The resulting fluorides of uranium can be the same as defined with respect to the first aspect of the present invention.

Mentioned fluorine-containing material may be a material obtained in the process of nuclear fuel production. Preferably mentioned fluorine-containing material is a fluoride of uranium, and more preferably uranium hexafluoride. Ideally this fluoride uranium is depleted by235U, and even more preferably it is UF6depleted by235U. This UF6may come from another process and/or from another part of the same process and/or from storage UF6.

Mentioned first product stream preferably contains army depleted uranium, suitable for storage.

Preferably, the aforementioned second product flow is added to the fluorine re-use after exiting the separator, in accordance with the method corresponding to the first aspect of the present invention.

According to a fourth aspect of the present invention, we provide a device for fluorination of uranium source material containing the first installation of shielding uranium source material with gaseous fluorine to form fluoride uranium and second installation, forming a cascade of separation for the fluorine-containing starting material to obtain the aforementioned gaseous fluorine from fluorine-containing source material containing a plasma generator for converting mentioned fluorine-containing material in a form in which at least part of the non-fluorine component mentioned starting material is ionized and at least part of the fluorine component of the source material is ionized, moreover, the above-mentioned cascade separation for fluorine-containing source material also contains a means for generating a magnetic field for holding the ionized component of the CSO flow cascade separation for fluorine-containing source material, and the above-mentioned cascade separation for fluorine-containing source material also contains a means for removal of the above-mentioned magnetic field mentioned ionized component with the formation of the second product flow cascade separation for fluorine-containing source material and to feed this second product stream cascade separation for fluorine-containing starting material in the above-mentioned first setting for contacting gaseous fluorine and uranium source material.

According to the fifth aspect of the present invention, we provide a method of enrichment of uranium source material, including the preparation of uranium source material uranium fluoride, the introduction of fluoride of uranium in the cascade separation to convert the uranium fluoride in plasma, and at least part of the uranium ionize at least a part other than uranium component mentioned starting material left UN-ionized, the ionized components held in a magnetic field with the formation of the first product stream, and ionized components of the output of the above-mentioned magnetic field with the formation of the second product stream; feeding by mentioning the electromagnetic radiation of one or more frequencies, opting for selective ionizirovanie one or more components mentioned first product stream, and separating mentioned selectively ionized components from the selectively ionized components, forming respectively the third and fourth product streams.

Mentioned uranium source material can match the original materials according to the first aspect of the present invention, but preferably for the uranium source material consisted of one or more fluorides of uranium and, in particular, uranium hexafluoride.

The above-mentioned separator can be performed, as described in detail below.

Preferably, the aforementioned first product stream contains mainly uranium referred to the source material. Preferably, the aforementioned second product stream contains mainly non-uranium (neuronova) part referred to the source material, and particularly components with low atomic masses.

First mentioned flow of the product and, in particular, the uranium contained therein may be filed in the above-mentioned cascade enrichment, still in ionized form. However, preferably the first product flow and, in casaschi enrichment transfer in unionised form. First mentioned flow of the product and, in particular, the uranium contained therein is preferably fed in the above-mentioned cascade enrichment in gaseous and/or vaporous form.

Preferably referred to one or several frequencies are chosen so as to ionize the components containing235U, with preference regarding components containing238U.

The aforementioned components may be in molecular form, such as UF6containing the appropriate isotopes of uranium, but preferably they represent an atomic form of these isotopes.

Said third product stream may be separated from the fourth product stream by electrostatic attraction mentioned the third product stream to some place of gathering. Mentioned fourth product stream is preferably collected in a separate place.

Preferably said third product stream is enriched in one or more isotopes, ideally235U on the said first stream of product. Preferably the fourth product stream is depleted in one or more isotopes, ideally235the product can be subjected to subsequent processing.

According to the sixth aspect of the present invention, we provide a device for enriching uranium source material containing the first installation, forming a cascade of separation to feed him in uranium source material containing a plasma generator for converting uranium source material in a form in which at least part of the uranium is ionized and at least part of the non-uranium component mentioned starting material is ionized, moreover, the above-mentioned cascade separation also contains a means for generating a magnetic field for retaining ionized components in the above-mentioned magnetic field and the formation of the first product stream and a means for removal of the above-mentioned magnetic field ionized components with the formation of the second product flow, as well as the fact that it contains a second installation, forming a cascade of enrichment to supply it referred to the first stream of product, and the above-mentioned cascade enrichment contains a source of electromagnetic radiation, preferably a laser, to impact on said first product stream of electromagnetic radiation in one or a first product stream, and means for separating selectively ionized components from the selectively ionized components for forming respectively the third and fourth product streams.

The above-described various aspects of the present invention can be combined with each other. For example, the process of obtaining fluorine according to a third aspect of the invention can be used to ensure the needs of the fluorine on the phase fluorination method according to the first aspect of the invention. In this way the process of obtaining fluorine according to a third aspect of the invention can be used to ensure the needs of the fluorine on the phase fluorination method according to the seventh aspect of the invention. It is also possible that the separator used in the methods according to the first and fifth aspects of the present invention, was one and the same device, with submission referred to the first product stream from the separator in the cascade enrichment. In this combined process may also use a third aspect of the present invention to provide the needs of the fluorine at the stage of fluorination. In addition, it is also possible, regardless of whether the separator used in the methods according to the first and fifth aspects of the present of the present invention, was the same cascade enrichment, which is used in the method according to the seventh aspect of the present invention. The combination of the first, third, fifth and seventh aspects of the present invention can form a single process.

These source material may be introduced in the above-mentioned magnetic field in a gaseous, liquid, solid form or in the form of their mixtures. Introduction in the magnetic field of the gaseous source material is preferred.

These source material may be introduced into the said means of generating plasma in a gaseous, liquid, solid form or in the form of their mixtures.

These source material may be introduced in the above-mentioned ionizing means in gaseous, liquid, solid form or in the form of their mixtures. Introduction to ionizing means gaseous source material is preferred, especially in cases where additional plasma generator is not used.

The gaseous form of the said starting material may be obtained by boiling and/or evaporation and/or sublimation of the source material, initially solid or liquid. Conversion to a gaseous state can be carried out using oven, microwave NAIA.

A given component preferably ionize completely or almost completely. A given component preferably leave completely or almost completely deionized.

Preferably some or all of the metal elements present in the above-mentioned base material, are ionized. The ionization of the metal element with an atomic mass greater than 90, is especially preferred. Preferably some or all of the non-metallic elements present in the above-mentioned base material, is not ionized. Preferably, all elements with an atomic mass of less than 90, most preferably less than 70, and ideally less than 60 remain in the unionised form. Especially it is preferable that were ionized elements such as uranium and/or plutonium, and/or thorium and/or gadolinium. It is preferable that were not ionized elements such as hydrogen and/or fluorine and/or oxygen and/or nitrogen. Preferably, boron is not ionized. Preferably, the fission products are not ionized.

Ionization components, you can make the influence of temperature plasma. Additionally or alternatively, the ionization of the above-mentioned components is passed through electron cyclotron resonance.

The degree of ionization and/or selection of ionized components can be adjusted by changing the level of energy supplied to the plant electron cyclotron resonance (ECR), and/or time spent in it.

Preferably ionization is controlled by changing the level of energy supplied to the plant ECR. The level of the supplied energy can be controlled by controlling the temperature of the plasma. Preferably, this energy is not selective concerning the components of the source material. Thanks to all the components of the source material is preferably displayed on the same energy level. Preferably ionized and ionized components of the source material are in equilibrium with prevailing conditions.

These source material can be turned into gas and filed in the installation ECR for ionization. For the conversion of solid or liquid source material in a gaseous/vaporous form can be used as heating the heating device or the evaporator.

Accordingly, in one embodiment of the invention, the plasma can be transform these raw materials into individual atoms, after charidotella source material is introduced into a molecular form, and selective separation applied to a material in the form of individual atoms and/or elemental form, which is separated from the ionized atom and/or elemental forms. This ensures the applicability of the proposed methodology to a wider range of materials than in the case of the introduction of the source material in the elemental form and implementation of the division in the elemental form or the introduction of source material in molecular form and implementation separation in molecular form.

In order to provide the necessary selective ionization of the above-mentioned components, it is possible to regulate the temperature of the above-mentioned plasma. Thus, the plasma can ionize some of the components of the source material, but leave deionized other components, such as fission products and/or non-metallic elements.

Preferably the temperature of the plasma is from 3000 to 4500K. Preferably the specified plasma generated with the use of microwave or high-frequency resources. Preferably, the plasma generator is processed at a pressure of between 1000 and 10000 PA. Pressure 2000 PA 10% are preferred.

In addition or as an alternative to DIPROPYLENE source material in the plasma before the split.

Preferably, the source material is introduced into the holding magnetic field in the unionised form. Preferably in the magnetic field is in the process of partial ionization of inert gas. The gas may be in the molecular and/or atomic form.

The magnetic field can be configured in such a way as to define a cylindrical active volume in which the plasma/ions are treated. Preferably plasma/ions pass along the axis of this holding zone from the means of generating plasma and/or ionization to the next block - cascade separation.

Preferably the separation of ionized and UN-ionized components by removing ionized component of the plasma, most preferably in the form of gas. Deionized components can be separated from the ionized component by suction. Ionized component is held by the magnetic field and, hence, is prevented from moving.

Department of ionized components from the wells can be performed in several stages. Preferably these steps are separated from each other. The stage can be separated from each other dividing Perego is inanaga field. Preferably one or several stages operate at a pressure different from the pressure level of one or more other steps. The pressure level can be maintained with the level of pumping. Preferably the pressure in one or more stages, nearest to the entrance of the plant is higher than in one or more stages, located at a greater distance from the entrance. Preferably the pressure is reduced in each zone relative to the previous stage, closer to the entrance. Preferably the pressure in each stage is from 30 to 60% of the pressure at the previous stage, as one moves away from the entrance.

Preferably there are three stages. Each stage may have a length of from 0.5 to 2.0 m

Preferably the first stage operates at a pressure from 10 to 50 PA. Level 40 PA 10% are preferred.

Preferably the second stage operates at a pressure from 5 to 20 PA. Level 16 PA 10% are preferred.

Preferably the third stage operates at a pressure from 2 to 10 PA. Level 7 PA 10% are preferred.

Separated uncharged components can be designed for reuse and/or selective processing to separate the different components.

The separated charged components preferably remain in a magnetic field. The separated charged components may be subjected to additional processing, including selective deionization; deionization with subsequent selective ionization; or other selective handling to separate the different components.

Cascade enrichment used in the above-mentioned aspects, can have one or more of the following features.

In the cascade enrichment can be created in a vacuum of 10-6Torr(1,3332210-4PA) or lower.

Electromagnetic radiation can be provided by using one or more laser beams and/or one or more lasers. Preferably used selective ionization is photoionization. Ionization and/or excitation may occur in one or more stages, preferably using different frequencies selected for different levels.

The separation of ionized and UN-ionized components can be produced by electrostatic attraction of ionized particles to some gathering place, such as one or more of the Olaf is lonene ionized components using magnetic fields.

Below are described only as examples of various embodiments of the present invention with reference to the attached drawings, in which:

Fig.1 illustrates a first variant implementation of the present invention to obtain purified material containing uranium;

Fig.2 illustrates a modification of the process shown in Fig.1, involves the introduction of fluorine in the technological scheme;

Fig.3 illustrates a modified process flow for processing materials containing spent nuclear fuel;

Fig.4 illustrates another variant embodiment of the invention; and

Fig.5 illustrates an embodiment of cascade separation, suitable for use in technological processes proposed by the present invention; and

Fig.6 illustrates an alternative embodiment of a separator suitable for use in technological processes proposed by the present invention; and

Fig.7 illustrates a device for enriching suitable for use in technological processes proposed by the present invention.

In Fig.1 shows the stage 2 direct fluorination in which we are interested metallic components powerglitch possible types of output product and fluorine, returned via the cascade 6 back in the direct fluorination step. This system can be used for many different kinds of source material and many different forms of the desired product.

The original submission of uranium ore concentrate

The process provides the ability to feed uranium ore concentrate from stage 8 to stage 2 direct fluorination, where the uranium oxide is converted into uranium fluoride, basically UF6by introducing fluorine. UF6is then passed to step 10 of purification, in which various impurities contained in the ore concentrate can be removed in various forms, mainly fluorinated. They form the thread 12 of the waste. In this place it is also possible to withdraw from the process UF6for sale or use in other processes (stream 14).

However, as a stage in this process a significant part UF6served with stage 10 cleaning in cascade 4 separation. In the cascade separation, which will be described in more detail below, uranium and other metal substances are separated from the fluoride and other materials with a lower atomic mass. Fluoride is returned to cascade 6 (stream 16) for later return the ora, from which fluorine is served in the cascade 6.

The main advantage of this method is that expensive fluorine is used for the separation of uranium from other impurities in the ore, but this fluorine is removed and returned back to step 2 fluoridation for subsequent reuse. Thus, fluorine is used almost in closed loop mode.

The flow of the metal material of the cascade 4 may form the thread 20 of the product for further processing that will be described in more detail below, or alternatively may form a stream 22 of uranium metal, for example, for use as magnocavallo fuel.

The original material presented reprocessed uranium

Described above with reference to Fig.1, the system can be used with the source material from step 24, consisting of regenerated uranium, mostly in the form UO3. This reprocessed uranium can be obtained from various sources, including uranium extracted from spent fuel rods.

As previously mentioned, the uranium oxide is served in the direct fluorination step to become UF6. As before, the possible diversion of the flow who may like to be, and not to be necessary when working with reprocessed uranium fuel.

As before, in stage 4 the separation of the uranium is separated from the fluorine, which is sent for reuse. After that uranium is either passed on to the next process, e.g., enrichment, or as an alternative use for the production of magnocavallo fuel.

The original submissions uranium residues (waste)

In many known processes associated with the production of uranium fuel, formed streams of residual materials that require processing. These flows consist mainly of uranium in the form of oxides and as a consequence of such threads 26 may be filed in cascade 2 fluorination process described above. As before, the uranium can be extracted for subsequent additional required processing.

Technological scheme of recharge fluoride

Fluoride must be added to the circuit to compensate the loss of fluorine (fluorine is lost together with impurities), and this is especially important when handling concentrates uranium ores when in stage 10 of the schema is retrieved fluorinated impurities. Fluoride can come from different sources, but the preferred process scheme is shown the flow 16 and from which it is returned back to step 2 fluoridation. Additional fluoride is served in this step 6 in the form of thread 28.

Source UF6for this part of the process is the step 30 of filing and particularly preferably, this step gave depleted stream UF6obtained by using known methods of enrichment and/or from a previously established reserves depleted UF6. Depleted UF6usually consists mostly of238UF6and a large part of the235UF6derived from it in the implementation of the enrichment processes.

UF6from stage 30 is fed into a cascade of 32 separation, which preferably is a cascade of the same type as the cascade 4 separation shown in Fig.1 and described in more detail below.

Cascade 32 separation forms required thread 28 of fluorine is fed into the supply line of fluorine, and a separate thread 34 of the product. Preferably the thread 34 of the product is metallic uranium, which is a more suitable form for long-term storage compared to UF6. This is especially true for cases where the above-mentioned metal is depleted uranium, mainly in the form of238U.

The original submission of spent fuel

Modify in Fig.3.

Spent fuel, usually containing an oxide of uranium, fission products and plutonium oxides, is entered in step 36 and forms the starting material fed to the cascade 2 direct fluorination. Received UF6and other fluorinated metals are then fed into a cascade of 4 separation.

Given the nature of the starting materials and the desired product form, impurities are usually not removed from the process scheme of this process.

As before, fluorine returned from cascade 4 in step 2 of direct fluorination through step 6. Products are transferred from the cascade 4 further for subsequent processing. These products can form a source material 20 fed to the subsequent processing stage, or as an alternative may themselves form some kind of product (stream 38).

In a particularly preferred case, the thread 38 of the product is a mixture of uranium, plutonium and fission products, and they are all in the metallic form. This product form is intended for long-term storage and is a much better form for storage in comparison with the material that is used inside the fuel rod or fuel Assembly (FA). Improved is the volume in real FA, and additionally released volume of the fuel assemblies, which are no longer to be maintained. The result can be achieved a total reduction ratio of the volume of materials to be stored, comprising 20 or so. Another advantage of this for storing the product form is that uranium metal is a good screen for protection from gamma radiation and as a consequence, this material has the property of Samotechnaya in relation to the gamma radiation emitted by the fission products contained therein.

Processing of enriched material

As shown in Fig.4, several enrichment (cascade 40), including AVLIS, provide enriched uranium in metallic or oxide form. This thread 42 often contains iron or other impurities which should be removed before further processing of uranium.

In the process shown in Fig.4, stream 42 containing uranium and iron, is fed in step 44 direct fluorination, fluorine which is supplied from the step 46 of the feed.

In a particularly preferred embodiment, the step 46 of the feed separator is generally of this type, as shown in Fig.1 cascade 4 separation, and/or as havemy in this stage, contained waste UF6and especially depleted UF6. Again ensures efficient way to supply the fluorine in the step 44 fluoridation, as well as the form 50 product more effective from the point of view of its storage and processing.

Uranium hexafluoride, fluoride, iron and other fluorides obtained in stage direct fluorination can be divided in cascade 50 separation, using the fact that these materials have different levels of volatility. So, relatively volatile UF6can be retrieved as a stream of 52 product for subsequent processing, for example for the manufacture of any final product, whereas the impurity - fluoride iron can be retrieved as a stream of 54 product for subsequent disposal.

Cascade separation

In Fig.5 shows the cascade separation, suitable for use in various embodiments of this invention.

The flow 200 of the source material is passed through the plasma generator 202, which quickly heats the source material to a temperature of about 4000 K. the Plasma generator 202 may be a generator of microwave or radio-frequency type, and this device allows you to easily adjust the temperature of the plasma.

shown schematically by the dashed lines 204. The plasma generator and the magnetic field is configured in such a way that the already ionized components of the source material are within the specified magnetic field. Conductive solenoids designed in such a way as to create a field of more than 0.1 Tesla.

Due to the very high temperature flow 200 of the source material at the outlet of the plasma generator 202 flow components 200 of the source material are decomposed into atoms. This allows processing of source material, depending on the specifics of its atomic composition instead use the filing of the original material in the elemental form, or to perform processing of source material only in accordance with differences between the molecules.

When the plasma temperature the atoms of uranium and other components with high atomic masses get the charge, for example are in the form U+. At the same time, components with lower atomic masses, in this case mainly fluorine remain uncharged. As ionized and uncharged substances are in gaseous form.

Ions of uranium, because they are charged, are held by the magnetic field and pass then through the battery to remusatia, without the effect of magnetic field, and as a consequence they can be discharged as a stream 214 product vacuum pumps or other appropriate devices. After separation from uranium ions to fluoride can afford to go to a lower energy level and thus recombine with the formation of F2.

Thus, as a result of this cascade of separation is the separation of uranium from the elements with low atomic mass contained in the flow of the source material, and uranium may be directed for further processing or use.

An important factor is the nature of selective ionization occurring in the separator. This ionization occurs due to the total for the entire system and energy level. Accordingly, particles that are ionized under these prevailing conditions, and particles that are not ionized, are determined at the equilibrium state achieved for these particles under these conditions. As a consequence provide selective ionization is stable and durable, which allows the division to effectively and not given the time constraints.

If the input to the system energy selective ionization is less efficient. In this case, collisions between ionized and UN-ionized particles would lead to the exchange of energy and, consequently, to a reasonably possible change in status and/or charge of these particles. This imposes severe restrictions on the speed of the separation process, because at low speed the selectivity is lost. In addition, such ionization processes should be carried out at low density material, because otherwise, collisions are so frequent that selectivity cannot be achieved.

On the other hand, an equilibrium state is characteristic of the present invention, allow collisions between particles without any adverse effect on the selectivity of the process. As a result, it can be ensured through a system of much larger amounts of material.

An alternative separator, which can also be used, as shown in Fig.6. In this case, the device will be described with reference to the separation of uranium from the source material, represented by uranium hexafluoride, but this device equally can be applied for other purposes.

The original uranium hexafluoride is introduced in the form of a stream (300) vapor is a (302). The plasma generator operates at a pressure of 2 kPa, which provides a substantially stable level of ionization of the target components of the source material due to the high intensity of the clashes.

Contact details of the plasma generator can be made of ceramic fluorides having the physical properties required to withstand the conditions. The system can be used copper surface, which is cooled by contact with water pipes. The flow of water is used for lowering the temperature of the copper walls and causes condensation on them of uranium fluorides. This provides chemical and thermal insulation of the copper. Finally installed equilibrium condition at the wall is deposited a layer of a fluoride of uranium certain thickness. This ensures the achievement of the effect samopojertvovanie.

The generated plasma leaves the generator (302) through the nozzle (304) and held by a magnetic field, which is shown schematically by the dashed lines (306). To maintain the above pressure inside the plasma generator (304) and provide the required flow rate is used nozzle with a radius of about 30 mm

P the new uranium to overcome the effect of magnetic field leads to a partial re-heating. If necessary, to the plasma during its further passage through the device can be made more energy to maintain the temperature level at which the required components remain ionized. This energy can be provided by using high-frequency resources. This supports the necessary selectivity provided by the equilibrium condition.

The material flow at the outlet of the plasma generator fan-shaped expanding with increasing distance from the plasma generator.

Partitions (310, 312), which determine the boundaries of the various zones, have diameters of holes, which, when clicked take into account this extension.

Confining magnetic field has an intensity of about 0.1 Tesla. Such levels of tension can be provided by conventional electromagnets, although can be used and superconducting magnets. The magnetic field of such intensity limits the radius of the flow of ions of uranium is about 180 mm at a distance of 3 m from the nozzle. Each zone/stage has a length of 1 m Radius of the expanding flow is approximately proportional to the root of the fourth power of the distance travelled.

Within zone 1 (308) are output apertures is Dov, which consist of uncharged materials, mainly of fluorine. Pipelines for waste streams can be made of aluminum.

The pressure in zone 1 is about 13 PA and by passing through this zone, the pressure of fluorine in the material flow is significantly reduced to the specified level. The remaining excess fluorine is pumped out through the outlet (314) using a conventional pumps on the market.

The flow of low fluorine content then passes into the zone 2 (316) through the hole (318) in the partition (310).

The second zone (316) corresponds to a pressure lower than the first, about 5 PA, and as the material flows through this zone, the fluorine content in the flow continues to decrease, approaching the specified pressure level.

The thread then passes into the zone 3 (320) through the hole (322) in the partition (312).

This zone corresponds to an even lower pressure of about 2 PA, and an excess of fluoride is pumped out through the outlet (324).

Stream with substantially lower fluorine content then passes to the outlet (326) for later use.

Ionized gaseous uranium may be in contact with the grid of a certain design for the drop charge and reduce energy uranium to status the fishery, providing effect of quenching and/or cooling. In this case, preference may be given to use to cool the uranium inert gases to avoid the formation of chemical compounds with uranium. The result is a metallic uranium. Uranium can be cooled to such an extent as to place it in a solid state, or may be only partially cooled, to keep it in liquid form.

The fluorine remaining in the stream (326) uranium product, can be easily extracted from the uranium product in the form of volatile fluoride of uranium and aims to reuse. When uranium is collected in liquid form, the separation can be easily performed in situ. Translated in flying condition UF is mainly converted into UF6that can be used again.

Can be provided for collection of fluoride released from the liquid by gas liberation.

When the feeding speed of the uranium 12 kg/h is formed of 5.7 kg/h of fluorine. It is expected that this amount of fluorine 3.6 kg/h will be evacuated from the zone 1; 1.3 kg/h will be evacuated from the zone 2; 0.5 kg/h will be evacuated from the zone 3; and 0.3 kg/h will remain in the stream (326) uranium product. Deducing from this product gazettelive fluorine in the form UF3and/or UF

Cascade uranium enrichment

Uranium enrichment, aimed at increasing the content of235U can be implemented in different ways. For example, UF6obtained in step 2 of direct fluorination (Fig.1) may be withdrawn from the process in steps 10 and intended as source material in the ongoing process of enrichment and/or sent for enrichment in a remote location after shipment. The enrichment process can be based on the centrifugation of gas and/or separation by gas diffusion and/or thermal diffusion.

However, it is preferable that the uranium from the output of the cascade 4 separation was supplied as a stream of 20 product directly in the subsequent cascade enrichment.

The AVLIS method (separation of isotopes by evaporation using lasers) represents a particularly preferred variant enrichment. Concentrating device type AVLIS, suitable for use in the present invention, shown in Fig.7. Processing device 70 consists of a vessel 72, in which through the channel 74 is introduced a stream of source material. The vessel 72 vacuumized by a pump 76 to a low pressure, typically below 10-6Torr (1,3332210-4PA).

If during the processing device 70 is followed by step 44 direct fluorination, as shown in Fig.4, the source material may be an atomic vapor of the previous stage (for example, separator of the above type) or processing device may be provided with means for converting the specified source material in an atomic vapour form. This can be achieved through induction heating and/or resistive heating, and/or application of electron-beam heater (not shown).

Being introduced in the vessel 72, the flow of 78 source material is exposed to laser radiation 80 generated by the laser through the window 82 in the receptacle 72. Frequency or frequency of this radiation is carefully selected so as to provide the photoionization of one type of isotope and not to cause photoionization of another type of isotopes. In the case of uranium, the frequency is usually selected so as to excite235U, but not238U.

After transformation into an ionized form ions electrostatically attracted to the arresting plates 84. Assembled enriched material may be periodically or continuously vetelino, continue to move to the individual collector 86.

Enriched material accumulated on the plates 84, typically also contains other components such as iron and iron oxides; they are removed, using the differences in volatility, as described above with reference to Fig.4. Similar separation technique can be used to remove impurities from the depleted material, cumulative catcher 86.

Claims

1. The method of processing uranium source material, including the introduction of uranium source material into contact with gaseous fluorine to form fluoride, uranium, characterized in that after the formation of the fluoride uranium submit the above-mentioned fluoride of uranium in the cascade separation to convert the above-mentioned fluoride of uranium in the plasma, and at least part of the uranium ionize and at least part of the fluorine leave ionized, the ionized components held in a magnetic field with the formation of the first product stream, and ionized components of the output of the above-mentioned magnetic field with the formation of the second product stream, then re-use the mentioned second product flow on Wyspa p. 1, characterized in that the said gaseous fluorine used for the formation of fluoride uranium receive by filing a fluorine-containing material in the cascade separation for fluorine-containing material, for converting mentioned fluorine-containing material into the plasma, and at least part of the non-fluorine component mentioned fluorine-containing material ionize and at least part of the fluorine component of the fluorine-containing material leave ionized, the ionized components held in a magnetic field with the formation of the first product stream cascade separation for fluorine-containing material and ionized components of the output of the above-mentioned magnetic field with the formation of the second product flow cascade separation for fluorine-containing material, and said second product flow cascade separation for fluorine-containing material serves on the aforementioned stage contacting of gaseous fluorine uranium source material.

3. The method according to p. 2, characterized in that the said second product stream and said second stream of the product cascade separation for fluorine-containing material shall constitute one and the same thread m is uranium ore.

5. The method according to any of paragraphs.1-3, characterized in that the said uranium-containing source material is uranium and/or uranium oxide obtained by the regeneration of uranium and/or uranium-containing material previously used in the nuclear fuel cycle.

6. The method according to any of the preceding paragraphs, characterized in that before the said cascade separation provided by the step of extracting material in which one or more fluorides of uranium removed from the process.

7. The method according to any of the preceding paragraphs, characterized in that the said first product stream contains metallic uranium.

8. The method according to any of paragraphs.1-6, characterized in that the said first product stream contains uranium and/or plutonium, and/or fission products in the elemental form.

9. The method according to any of the preceding paragraphs, characterized in that the said second product flow is predominantly fluorine.

10. The method according to any of the preceding paragraphs, characterized in that the said second stream of product processed before filing in the above-mentioned stage of contacting gaseous fluorine to uranium-containing material, and the method includes cleaning, fluoride, predpolagaetsya fluoride uranium, preferably the uranium hexafluoride.

12. The method according to p. 2, characterized in that the said second product stream cascade separation for fluorine-containing material add fluoride extracted for re-use of the above-mentioned second product stream which is withdrawn from separator provided according to the point 1 of the claims.

13. Method of fluorination of uranium source material, including the introduction of uranium source material into contact with gaseous fluorine to react with fluorine uranium-containing starting material with the formation of fluoride, uranium, characterized in that the said gaseous fluorine is obtained by filing a fluorine-containing material in the cascade separation for fluorine-containing material for converting mentioned fluorine-containing material into the plasma, and at least part of the non-fluorine component mentioned fluorine-containing material ionize and at least part of the fluorine component of the fluorine-containing material leave ionized, the ionized components held in a magnetic field with the formation of the first product stream cascade separation for fluorine-containing material, and nainis the separation for fluorine-containing material, then referred to the second product flow cascade separation for fluorine-containing material serves on the aforementioned stage contacting of gaseous fluorine uranium source material.

14. The method according to p. 13, characterized in that the said uranium-containing source material is uranium ore.

15. The method according to p. 13, characterized in that the said uranium-containing source material is uranium and/or uranium oxide obtained by the regeneration of uranium and/or uranium-containing material previously used in the nuclear fuel cycle.

16. The method according to any of paragraphs.13-15, characterized in that before the said cascade separation provided by the step of extracting material in which one or more fluorides of uranium removed from the process.

17. The method according to any of paragraphs.13-16, characterized in that the said first product stream contains metallic uranium.

18. The method according to any of paragraphs.13-16, characterized in that the said first product stream contains uranium and/or plutonium, and/or fission products in the elemental form.

19. The method according to any of paragraphs.13-18, characterized in that the said second product flow is predominantly fluorine.

20. The method according to any of pamantul stage contacting of gaseous fluorine uranium material, moreover, the method includes cleaning, fluoride, involving the removal of other substances.

21. The method according to any of paragraphs.13-20, characterized in that the said fluorine-containing material is a fluoride of uranium, preferably uranium hexafluoride.

22. A method of enrichment of uranium source material, including the preparation of uranium source material uranium fluoride, characterized in that it includes the introduction of fluoride of uranium in the cascade separation to convert the uranium fluoride in plasma, and at least part of the uranium ionize at least a part other than uranium component mentioned starting material left UN-ionized, the ionized components held in a magnetic field with the formation of the first product stream, and ionized components of the output of the above-mentioned magnetic field with the formation of the second product stream; feeding the aforementioned first product stream in the cascade enrichment, in which the first mentioned flow of product is exposed to electromagnetic radiation of one or more frequencies that are chosen for selective ionizirovanie one or more components mentioned first product stream, and separating the KJV is, respectively, the third and fourth product streams.

23. The method according to p. 22, characterized in that before the said cascade separation provided by the step of extracting material in which one or more fluorides of uranium removed from the process.

24. The method according to p. 22 or 23, characterized in that the said first product stream contains metallic uranium.

25. The method according to any of paragraphs.22-24, characterized in that the said first product stream contains uranium and/or plutonium, and/or fission products in the elemental form.

26. The method according to any of paragraphs.22 to 25, characterized in that the said second product flow is predominantly fluorine.

27. The method according to any of paragraphs.22-26, characterized in that the said second stream of product processed before filing in the above-mentioned stage of contacting gaseous fluorine to uranium-containing material, and the method includes cleaning, fluoride, involving the removal of other substances.

28. The method according to any of paragraphs.22-27, characterized in that the said first product stream prior to filing in the above-mentioned cascade enrichment transfer in unionised form.

29. The method according to any of paragraphs.22-28, characterized in that the said one or more frequencies you is asih238U.

30. The method according to any of paragraphs.22-29, wherein said third product stream is separated from the fourth product stream by electrostatic attraction mentioned the third stream of the product to the place of gathering.

31. The method according to any of paragraphs.22-30, wherein said third product stream is enriched in235U on the said first stream of product.

32. A device for processing uranium source material containing the first installation of shielding uranium source material with gaseous fluorine to react with fluorine mentioned uranium-containing material to form a fluoride of uranium, characterized in that it is provided with a second plant, forming a cascade of separation for filing it mentioned fluoride uranium containing plasma generator for converting the above-mentioned fluoride of uranium in a form in which at least part of the uranium is ionized and at least part of the fluorine is unionised, moreover, the cascade separation also includes means for generating a magnetic field for retaining ionized components and the formation of the first flow produtora product for reuse in the above-mentioned first setting for contacting mentioned uranium source material and gaseous fluorine.

33. Device for fluorination of uranium source material containing the first installation of shielding uranium source material with gaseous fluorine to form fluoride, uranium, characterized in that it comprises a second installation, forming a cascade of separation for the fluorine-containing starting material to obtain the aforementioned gaseous fluorine from fluorine-containing source material containing a plasma generator for converting mentioned fluorine-containing material in a form in which at least part of the non-fluorine component mentioned starting material is ionized and at least part of the fluorine component of the source material is ionized, moreover, the above-mentioned cascade separation for fluorine-containing source material also contains a means for generating a magnetic field for retaining ionized components in the magnetic field generated by the mentioned means for generating a magnetic field, and the formation of the first product stream cascade separation for fluorine-containing source material, and the above-mentioned cascade separation for fluorine-containing source material t is and with the formation of the second product flow cascade separation for fluorine-containing source material and to feed this second product stream cascade separation for fluorine-containing starting material in the above-mentioned first setting for contacting gaseous fluorine and uranium source material.

34. A device for enriching uranium source material, characterized in that it contains the first installation, forming a cascade of separation to feed him in uranium source material containing a plasma generator for converting uranium source material in a form in which at least part of the uranium is ionized and at least part of the non-uranium component mentioned starting material is ionized, moreover, the above-mentioned cascade separation also contains a means for generating a magnetic field for retaining ionized components in the above-mentioned magnetic field and the formation of the first product stream and a means for removal of the above-mentioned magnetic field ionized components with the formation of the second product flow, as well as the fact that it contains a second installation, forming a cascade of enrichment to supply it referred to the first stream of product, and the above-mentioned cascade enrichment contains a source of electromagnetic radiation, preferably a laser, for influencing mentioned first product flow by electromagnetic radiation of one or more frequencies, selected for selek is in to separate selectively ionized components from the selectively ionized components to form respectively the third and fourth product streams.

 

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