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Report No.

Reduction behaviors of zirconium oxide compounds in LiCl-Li$$_{2}$$O melt

Sakamura, Yoshiharu*; Iizuka, Masatoshi*; Koyama, Tadafumi*; Kitawaki, Shinichi ; Nakayoshi, Akira  ; Kofuji, Hirohide  

An electrolytic reduction process of oxide fuels has recently been developed, however it was found that the behaviors of rare earth elements and zirconium are expected to be complicate because their oxides are stable and complex oxide compounds may form. After Fukushima- Daiichi reactor accident, studies on applicability of pyrometallurgical process to damaged fuel debris consisting of ZrO$$_{2}$$-UO$$_{2}$$ have been started. In this study, reduction behaviors of ZrO$$_{2}$$, ZrO$$_{2}$$-Li$$_{2}$$O and ZrO$$_{2}$$-UO$$_{2}$$ were investigated. It was proved that ZrO$$_{2}$$ can be reduced to metallic form in LiCl melt and that ZrO$$_{2}$$ easily reacts with dissolved Li$$_{2}$$O to give Li$$_{2}$$ZrO$$_{3}$$. After ZrO$$_{2}$$ is converted to Li$$_{2}$$ZrO$$_{3}$$, zirconium metal is hardly obtained even in a LiCl melt with low Li$$_{2}$$O concentration.



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