Purification of uranium products in crystallization system for nuclear fuel reprocessing

Masayuki Takeuchi*, Kimihiko Yano, Atsuhiro Shibata, Yuji Sanbonmatsu, Kazuhito Nakamura, Takahiro Chikazawa, Izumi Hirasawa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Uranium crystallization system has been developed to establish an advanced aqueous reprocessing for fast breeder reactor (FBR) fuel cycle. In the crystallization system, most part of uranium in dissolved solution of spent FBR-MOX fuels is separated as uranyl nitrate hexahydrate (UNH) crystals by a cooling operation. The targets of U yield and decontamination factor (DF) on the crystallization system are decided from FBR cycle performance and plutonium enrichment management. The DF is lowered by involving liquid and solid impurities on and in the UNH crystals during crystallization. In order to achieve the DF performance (more than 100), we discuss the purification technology of UNH crystals using a Kureha Crystal Purifier (KCP). Results show that more than 90% of uranium in the feed crystals could be recovered as the purified crystals in all test conditions, and the DFs of solid and liquid impurities on the purified UNH crystals are more than 100 under longer residence time of crystals in the column of KCP device. The purification mechanism is mainly due to the repetition of sweating and recrystallization in the column under controlled temperature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)521-528
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Nuclear Science and Technology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Apr 2


  • FBR
  • crystal purification
  • crystallization
  • recovery
  • reprocessing
  • separation
  • solid impurities
  • sweating
  • uranium

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Nuclear Energy and Engineering


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