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Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations
Volume 2013, Article ID 704846, 14 pages
Research Article

Production Cycle for Large Scale Fission Mo-99 Separation by the Processing of Irradiated LEU Uranium Silicide Fuel Element Targets

Zellmarkstraße 7, 76275 Ettlingen, Germany

Received 16 June 2013; Accepted 20 July 2013

Academic Editor: Mushtaq Ahmad

Copyright © 2013 Abdel-Hadi Ali Sameh. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Uranium silicide fuels proved over decades their exceptional qualification for the operation of higher flux material testing reactors with LEU elements. The application of such fuels as target materials, particularly for the large scale fission Mo-99 producers, offers an efficient and economical solution for the related facilities. The realization of such aim demands the introduction of a suitable dissolution process for the applied U3Si2 compound. Excellent results are achieved by the oxidizing dissolution of the fuel meat in hydrofluoric acid at room temperature. The resulting solution is directly behind added to an over stoichiometric amount of potassium hydroxide solution. Uranium and the bulk of fission products are precipitated together with the transuranium compounds. The filtrate contains the molybdenum and the soluble fission product species. It is further treated similar to the in-full scale proven process. The generated off gas stream is handled also as experienced before after passing through KOH washing solution. The generated alkaline fluoride containing waste solution is noncorrosive. Nevertheless fluoride can be selectively bonded as in soluble CaF2 by addition of a mixture of solid calcium hydroxide calcium carbonate to the sand cement mixture used for waste solidification. The generated elevated amounts of LEU remnants can be recycled and retargeted. The related technology permits the minimization of the generated fuel waste, saving environment, and improving processing economy.