A Contribution to the Study of the Reduction of UF4 to Uranium Metal
Reduction of small charges of uranium tetrafluoride with magnesium proved to be successful. By hand-tamping of UF4- Mg blend, tap densities ranging between3.1 and 3.4 g/cc were obtained. The reduction yields for these densities ranged from 72.79 to 93.71%. In the case of machine-compacted UF4-Mg blend having tap densities from 3.58 to 3.68 g/cc, reduction yields were higher, ranging between 91.45 and 97.2%. Machine-compacted blends gave much more uniform temperature distribution curves during the preheating period, as a result of higher tap densities. The best yields were obtained by firing a machine- compacted blend containing 5% Mg excess at a furnace temperature of 650 deg C, giving an average crude metal yield of 96.3%. However, the high carbon content of 174 ppm in the crude uranium biscuits obtained by compacts reduction, as a result of hydrocarbon binder presence, appeared to be a disadvantage. Attempts were also made to demonstrate the initiation of the reduction reaction at temperatures lower than 500 deg C by taking x-ray-diffraction patterns of the samples of the UF4-Mg charges heated up to various temperatures.
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argon brown core carbon content carbon pickup CD 3 CD CD CD crucible wall crude metal crude uranium biscuits CRUDE URANIUM DERBIES crude uranium metal crude yield diameter Diffusion pump electric furnace ELEMENT EXPERIMENT exothermic reaction Figure Figure 17 furnace cover furnace temperature g/cc graphite cap graphite crucible green salt hand-tamped charge hand-tamped UF4-Mg blend higher tap densities hydrocarbon lining material magnesium metal magnesium vapor MELTING AND CASTING melting crucible melting furnace metal yield Mg excess Mg metal MgF2 slag NAME OF ELEMENT OBTAINED BY FIRING preheating period pump pyrometer reaction REDUCTION OF UF4 reduction yields result rt rt rt samples sight glass SS reduction shell stopper rod surface temperature of 700°C temperature-distribution thermal conductivity thermal shock thermocouple thick UF4 crystal UF4-Mg compacts URANIUM DERBIES OBTAINED uranium tetrafluoride USAEC Report vacuum melting vacuum seal Vycor tube whole charge X-ray diffraction zirconate