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Réduction cathodique de solutions mixtes uranium/plutonium en milieu acide nitrique dans un électrolyseur plaque en présence d'un agent anti-nitreux

Abstract : This study concerns the nuclear Fuel cycle and notably the co-management of plutonium and uranium for future reprocessing plants. It deals with the study of the scientific feasibility of the cathodic reduction of mixed and concentrated solutions of uranium (+VI) and plutonium (+IV), in nitric acid medium and in presence of an anti-nitrous agent, on a platinum electrode. This reduction step is necessary for the preparation of the mixed load of U(IV)/Pu(III), dedicated to coconversion by oxalic precipitation and production of oxide precursor for MOx fuel fabrication. At first, the thermodynamics and kinetics parameters of the reactions involved at the electrode, as well as the mass transport parameters were characterized for Pu4+/Pu3+ and UO22+/ UO2+ redox couples by voltamperometric analysis. Secondly, a miniaturized plate electrolyzer (electrode of platinized titanium, area A = 12 cm²) was designed in order to perform electrolysis of U(VI) and/or Pu(IV) solutions. The scientific and technical feasibility of a concomitant electrochemical reduction of U and Pu, in nitric acid aqueous solution in presence of hydrazinium nitrate, was demonstrated. This reduction was realized on a mixed U(VI)/Pu(IV) solution at the concentration of 10 and 40 g/L respectively, in presence of hydrazinium nitrate, and in a galvanostatic mode, for a current density of 12 mA cm-2, at a temperature of 25°C. It allowed to convert Pu(IV) to Pu(III) quantitatively and U(VI) to U(IV) at a yield of 60 %. Finally, on the basis of these experimental results of electrolysis on simple or mixed solutions, in presence or not of hydrazinium nitrate, two numerical models were developed. A first one, named "0D", allowed to represent the evolution of concentrations in the volume of the catholyte, taking into account the reactivity of reactants at the electrode, and also all chemical reactions involved in the bulk (considered as a homogeneous volume); with a simplified description of the diffusion layer, by considering the establishment of a limiting diffusive current for the reductions of Pu(IV), Pu(III), U(VI), U(IV), HNO2, and NH species, and by neglecting the chemical reactivity of these species in this layer. A second one, named "0D – 1D", allowed to describe more finely the reactive layer at the electrode – bulk interface, and the exchanges between this layer and the volume of the catholyte compartment. These two models allowed to run parametric fitting in order to determine the kinetic constants of the different reactions taking place at the electrode, in the diffusion layer and in the bulk, for the reduction of simple or mixed U(VI)/Pu(IV) solutions (concentration range from 0 to 40 g/L), in HNO3 2 M medium, on a platinum electrode and at T = 25°C, with a recirculation flow rate of 240 mL/min, in the EM-CEA 16 electrolyzer
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Submitted on : Thursday, March 29, 2018 - 1:10:10 PM
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Sélim Georgette. Réduction cathodique de solutions mixtes uranium/plutonium en milieu acide nitrique dans un électrolyseur plaque en présence d'un agent anti-nitreux. Alimentation et Nutrition. Université de Lorraine, 2014. Français. ⟨NNT : 2014LORR0214⟩. ⟨tel-01751192⟩



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