Fluoride volatility

Fluoride Volatility

Fluoride volatility

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Fluoride volatility is jargon that describes the volatility of fluorides, which is relevant to the separation of radionuclides. The volatility of fluorides is the basis of technologies used in the processing and reprocessing of nuclear fuel, both of the conventional fuel rods used in today's LWRs and as a part of a molten salt reactor system.

Reprocessing methods

Uranium oxides react with fluorine to form gaseous uranium hexafluoride, most of the plutonium reacts to form gaseous plutonium hexafluoride, a majority of fission products (especially electropositive elements: lanthanides, strontium, barium, yttrium, caesium) form nonvolatile fluorides. Few metals in the fission products (the transition metals niobium, ruthenium, technetium, molybdenum, and the halogen iodine) form volatile (boiling point <200 °C) fluorides that accompany the uranium and plutonium hexafluorides, together with inert gases. Distillation is then used to separate the uranium hexafluoride from the mixture.

The nonvolatile alkaline fission products and minor actinides is most suitable for further processing with 'dry' electrochemical processing......
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