The fate of nitrogen upon reprocessing of nitride fuels
The aim of this study is to investigate the dissolution behaviour of nitride fuels in nitric acid. One problem in employing nitrides as fuels is the formation of radiotoxic 14C upon irradiation of natural nitrogen. The use of 15N-enriched fuels would avoid this drawback. Using 15N-enriched uranium nitrides or 15N-enriched nitric acid, two methods have been developed to measure the influence of the dissolution parameters, nitric acid temperature and concentration, on the 15N/14N ratios of the nitrogen, nitrogen oxides and ammonium ions utilising a coupled gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer. This work confirms that the first dissolution step is the oxidation of UN with HNO(3) to form NH(4)(+) and HNO(2), and that HNO(2) has a catalytic role in the dissolution to form other products. Ammonium is the only species which contains nitrogen with the same isotopic composition as the uranium nitride.
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: 15th International Symposium on the Scientific Basis for Nuclear Waste Management, Strasbourg (FR), Nov. 5-8, 1991
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 36383 ORA
Record Number: 199210066 / Last updated on: 1994-12-02
Original language: en
Available languages: en