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Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 945858, 8 pages
Research Article

Projected Salt Waste Production from a Commercial Pyroprocessing Facility

Idaho National Laboratory, P.O. Box 1625, Idaho Falls, ID 83415, USA

Received 20 February 2013; Accepted 24 April 2013

Academic Editor: Candido Pereira

Copyright © 2013 Michael F. Simpson. 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.


Pyroprocessing of used nuclear fuel inevitably produces salt waste from electrorefining and/or oxide reduction unit operations. Various process design characteristics can affect the actual mass of such waste produced. This paper examines both oxide and metal fuel treatment, estimates the amount of salt waste generated, and assesses potential benefit of process options to mitigate the generation of salt waste. For reference purposes, a facility is considered in which 100 MT/year of fuel is processed. Salt waste estimates range from 8 to 20 MT/year from considering numerous scenarios. It appears that some benefit may be derived from advanced processes for separating fission products from molten salt waste, but the degree of improvement is limited. Waste form production is also considered but appears to be economically unfavorable. Direct disposal of salt into a salt basin type repository is found to be the most promising with respect to minimizing the impact of waste generation on the economic feasibility and sustainability of pyroprocessing.