10 CFR Appendix J to Part 110, Illustrative List of Uranium Conversion Plant Equipment and Plutonium Conversion Plant Equipment Under NRC Export Licensing Authority

Appendix J to Part 110 - Illustrative List of Uranium Conversion Plant Equipment and Plutonium Conversion Plant Equipment Under NRC Export Licensing Authority
Note:

Uranium conversion plants and systems may perform one or more transformations from one uranium chemical species to another, including: conversion of uranium ore concentrates to UO3, conversion of UO3 to UO2, conversion of uranium oxides to UF4 or UF6, conversion of UF4 to UF6, conversion of UF6 to UF4, conversion of UF4 to uranium metal, and conversion of uranium fluorides to UO2. Many key equipment items for uranium conversion plants are common to several segments of the chemical process industry, including furnaces, rotary kilns, fluidized bed reactors, flame tower reactors, liquid centrifuges, distillation columns and liquid-liquid extraction columns. However, few of the items are available “off-the-shelf”; most would be prepared according to customer requirements and specifications. Some require special design and construction considerations to address the corrosive properties of the chemicals handled (HF, F2, CLF3, and uranium fluorides). In all of the uranium conversion processes, equipment which individually is not especially designed or prepared for uranium conversion can be assembled into systems which are especially designed or prepared for uranium conversion.

(a) Uranium Conversion Plant Equipment.

(1) Especially designed or prepared systems for the conversion of uranium ore concentrates to UO3.

Conversion of uranium ore concentrates to UO3 can be performed by first dissolving the ore in nitric acid and extracting purified uranyl nitrate using a solvent such as tributyl phosphate. Next, the uranyl nitrate is converted to UO3 either by concentration and denitration or by neutralization with gaseous ammonia to produce ammonium diuranate with subsequent filtering, drying, and calcining.

(2) Especially designed or prepared systems for the conversion of UO3 to UF6.

Conversion of UO3 to UF6 can be performed directly by fluorination. The process requires a source of fluorine gas or chlorine trifluoride.

(3) Especially Designed or Prepared Systems for the conversion of UO3 to UO2.

Conversion of UO3 to UO2 can be performed through reduction of UO3 with cracked ammonia gas or hydrogen.

(4) Especially Designed or Prepared Systems for the conversion of UO2 to UF4.

Conversion of UO2 to UF4 can be performed by reacting UO2 with hydrogen fluoride gas (HF) at 300-500 °C.

(5) Especially Designed or Prepared Systems for the conversion of UF4 to UF6.

Conversion of UF4 to UF6 is performed by exothermic reaction with fluorine in a tower reactor. UF6 is condensed from the hot effluent gases by passing the effluent stream through a cold trap cooled to −10 °C. The process requires a source of fluorine gas.

(6) Especially Designed or Prepared Systems for the conversion of UF4 to U metal.

Conversion of UF4 to U metal is performed by reduction with magnesium (large batches) or calcium (small batches). The reaction is carried out at temperatures above the melting point of uranium (1130 °C).

(7) Especially designed or prepared systems for the conversion of UF6 to UO2.

Conversion of UF6 to UO2 can be performed by one of three processes. In the first, UF6 is reduced and hydrolyzed to UO2 using hydrogen and steam. In the second, UF6 is hydrolyzed by solution in water, ammonia is added to precipitate ammonium diuranate, and the diuranate is reduced to UO2 with hydrogen at 820 °C. In the third process, gaseous UF6, CO2, and NH3 are combined in water, precipitating ammonium uranyl carbonate. The ammonium uranyl carbonate is combined with steam and hydrogen at 500-600 °C to yield UO2. UF6 to UO2 conversion is often performed as the first stage of a fuel fabrication plant.

(8) Especially Designed or Prepared Systems for the conversion of UF6 to UF4. Conversion of UF6 to UF4 is performed by reduction with hydrogen.

(9) Especially designed or prepared systems for the conversion of UO2 to UCl4 as feed for electromagnetic enrichment.

Note:

Plutonium conversion plants and systems may perform one or more transformations from one plutonium chemical species to another, including: conversion of plutonium nitrate to PuO2, conversion of PuO2 to PuF4 and conversion of PuF4 to plutonium metal. Plutonium conversion plants are usually associated with reprocessing facilities, but may also be associated with plutonium fuel fabrication facilities. Many of the key equipment items for plutonium conversion plants are common to several segments of the chemical process industry. For example, the types of equipment employed in these processes may include the following items: furnaces, rotary kilns, fluidized bed reactors, flame tower reactors, liquid centrifuges, distillation columns and liquid-liquid extraction columns. Hot cells, glove boxes and remote manipulators may also be required. However, few of the items are available off-the-shelf; most would be prepared according to the requirements and specifications of the customer. Particular care is essential in designing for the special radiological, toxicity and criticality hazards associated with plutonium. In some circumstances, special design and construction considerations are required to address the corrosive properties of some of the chemicals handled (e.g., HF). Finally, it should be noted that, for all plutonium conversion processes, items of equipment which individually are not especially designed or prepared for plutonium conversion can be assembled into systems that are especially designed or prepared for use in plutonium conversion.

(b) Plutonium Conversion Plant Equipment

(1) Especially designed or prepared systems for the conversion of plutonium nitrate to oxide.

The main functions involved in this process are: process feed storage and adjustment, precipitation and solid/liquor separation, calcination, product handling, ventilation, waste management, and process control. The process systems are particularly adapted so as to avoid criticality and radiation effects and to minimize toxicity hazards. In most reprocessing facilities, this process involves the conversion of plutonium nitrate to plutonium dioxide. Other processes can involve the precipitation of plutonium oxalate or plutonium peroxide.

(2) Especially designed or prepared systems for plutonium metal production.

This process usually involves the fluorination of plutonium dioxide, normally with highly corrosive hydrogen fluoride, to produce plutonium fluoride, which is subsequently reduced using high purity calcium metal to produce metallic plutonium and a calcium fluoride slag. The main functions involved in this process are the following: fluorination (e.g., involving equipment fabricated or lined with a precious metal), metal reduction (e.g., employing ceramic crucibles), slag recovery, product handling, ventilation, waste management and process control. The process systems are particularly adapted so as to avoid criticality and radiation effects and to minimize toxicity hazards. Other processes include the fluorination of plutonium oxalate or plutonium peroxide followed by reduction to metal.

(c) Any other components especially designed or prepared for use in a uranium conversion plant or plutonium conversion plant or in any of the components described in this appendix.

[ 61 FR 35606, July 8, 1996, as amended at 65 FR 70291, Nov. 22, 2000; 79 FR 39298, July 10, 2014]

This is a list of United States Code sections, Statutes at Large, Public Laws, and Presidential Documents, which provide rulemaking authority for this CFR Part.

This list is taken from the Parallel Table of Authorities and Rules provided by GPO [Government Printing Office].

It is not guaranteed to be accurate or up-to-date, though we do refresh the database weekly. More limitations on accuracy are described at the GPO site.


United States Code
U.S. Code: Title 5 - GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION AND EMPLOYEES
U.S. Code: Title 22 - FOREIGN RELATIONS AND INTERCOURSE
U.S. Code: Title 42 - THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE

§ 2071 - Determination of other material as special nuclear material; Presidential assent; effective date

§ 2073 - Domestic distribution of special nuclear material

§ 2074 - Foreign distribution of special nuclear material

§ 2077 - Unauthorized dealings in special nuclear material

§ 2092 - License requirements for transfers

§ 2093 - Domestic distribution of source material

§ 2094 - Foreign distribution of source material

§ 2095 - Reports

§ 2111 - Domestic distribution

§ 2112 - Foreign distribution of byproduct material

§ 2133 - Commercial licenses

§ 2134 - Medical, industrial, and commercial licenses

§ 2139 - Component and other parts of facilities

§ 2139a - Regulations implementing requirements relating to licensing for components and other parts of facilities

§ 2141 - Licensing by Nuclear Regulatory Commission of distribution of special nuclear material, source material, and byproduct material by Department of Energy

§ 2151 - Effect of international arrangements

§ 2152 - Policies contained in international arrangements

§ 2153 - Cooperation with other nations

§ 2153a - Approval for enrichment after export of source or special nuclear material; export of major critical components of enrichment facilities

§ 2153b - Export policies relating to peaceful nuclear activities and international nuclear trade

§ 2153c - Renegotiation of agreements for cooperation

§ 2153d - Authority to continue agreements for cooperation entered into prior to March 10, 1978

§ 2153e - Protection of environment

§ 2153e-1

§ 2153f - Savings clause; Nuclear Non-Proliferation Act of 1978

§ 2154 - International atomic pool

§ 2155 - Export licensing procedures

§ 2155a - Regulations establishing Commission procedures covering grant, suspension, revocation, or amendment of nuclear export licenses or exemptions

§ 2156 - Criteria governing United States nuclear exports

§ 2156a - Regulations establishing levels of physical security to protect facilities and material

§ 2157 - Additional export criterion and procedures

§ 2158 - Conduct resulting in termination of nuclear exports

§ 2159 - Congressional review procedures

§ 2160 - Subsequent arrangements

§ 2160a - Review of Nuclear Proliferation Assessment Statements

§ 2160b - Authority to suspend nuclear cooperation with nations which have not ratified the Convention on the Physical Security of Nuclear Material

§ 2160c - Consultation with Department of Defense concerning certain exports and subsequent arrangements

§ 2160d - Further restrictions on exports

§ 2201 - General duties of Commission

§ 2231 - Applicability of administrative procedure provisions; definitions

§ 2232 - License applications

§ 2233 - Terms of licenses

§ 2234 - Inalienability of licenses

§ 2236 - Revocation of licenses

§ 2237 - Modification of license

§ 2239 - Hearings and judicial review

§ 2243 - Licensing of uranium enrichment facilities

§ 2273 - Violation of sections

§ 2282 - Civil penalties

§ 5841 - Establishment and transfers

U.S. Code: Title 44 - PUBLIC PRINTING AND DOCUMENTS
Statutes at Large