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Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 3698053, 9 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/3698053
Research Article

Separation of Electrolytic Reduction Product from Stainless Steel Wire Mesh Cathode Basket via Salt Draining and Reuse of the Cathode Basket

Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute, Daedeok-daero 989-111, Yuseong-gu, Daejeon 34057, Republic of Korea

Correspondence should be addressed to Eun-Young Choi; moc.revan@tsijkiniw

Received 4 April 2017; Revised 27 August 2017; Accepted 6 September 2017; Published 8 October 2017

Academic Editor: Mark Deinert

Copyright © 2017 Eun-Young Choi et al. 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.

Abstract

We demonstrated that the metallic product obtained after electrolytic reduction (also called oxide reduction (OR)) can be simply separated from a stainless steel wire mesh cathode basket only by using a salt drain. First, the OR run of a simulated oxide fuel (0.6 kg/batch) was conducted in a molten Li2O–LiCl salt electrolyte at 650°C. The simulated oxide fuel of the porous cylindrical pellets was used as a cathode by loading a stainless steel wire mesh cathode basket. Platinum was employed as an anode. After the electrolysis, the residual salt of the cathode basket containing the reduction product was drained by placing it at gas phase above the molten salt using a holder. Then, at a room temperature, the complete separation of the reduction product from the cathode basket was achieved by inverting it without damaging or deforming the basket. Finally, the emptied cathode basket obtained after the separation was reused for the second OR run by loading a fresh simulated oxide fuel. We also succeeded in the separation of the metallic product from the reused cathode basket for the second OR run.