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This is normally done by centrifuge technology. The enriched uranium is used as solid uranium dioxide. There is more than one way of carrying out the reduction. A standard method is in a hydrogen-fluorine flame reactor.


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The high temperature is needed to initiate the reaction, given as. Solid uranium dioxide powder is pressed into pellets which are housed in Zircalloy tubes. These are bundled into fuel elements in the case of pressurized-water reactors ready for use. UF 6 is itself a powerful oxidant and fluorinating gas. Materials of construction for plants handling UF 6 are thus similar to those for plants that have fluorine as reactant or product. Seals, filters, bearings, etc. South Africa's fluorochemical capability. Highlights in the history of South African fluorochemical technology platform Naidoo, are listed below.

AECI acquires the technology in the s. Figure 4 shows a photograph of the rotary kiln HF reactor. The company also operates some 20 fluorine electrolysis cells Figure 5. Pelchem supplies a range of fluorine products to the local and international markets. These include xenon difluoride, nitrogen trifluoride, various organofluorine compounds, perfluorinated alkanes, and a variety of inorganic fluoride salts. Although a full fuel cycle existed on the Pelindaba site, it was abandoned in The technology in effect does not exist anymore, and if a new fuel cycle is to be established in South Africa, it will have to be a start-up from scratch rather than resuscitation of the old technology.

Should this come to pass, our fluorochemical expertise, both existing and under development, will be invaluable if not essential. This will be the case whether the conversion is purchased off the shelf or developed locally. The operation of a conversion plant requires detailed and extensive fluorochemical expertise. Since the inception of the Fluorochemical Expansion Initiative FEI , South Africa has made considerable inroads into the development of its fluorochemical capability.

The next few years are critical. A number of things need to happen for the South African research and development effort to continue progressing, and for the technology to be leveraged for the nuclear build plan.

These are:. Within the next years the majority of the last generation of Necsa senior scientists and engineers will have retired. Rajen Naidoo, current acting CEO of Pelchem, is thanked the plant photographs, and Dr Johann Nel and Gerard Puts are acknowledged for comment and assistance with graphics, respectively. Agarwal, A.

Nobel Prize Winners in Chemistry Ameduri, B.

Uranium compounds

History of fluorine chemistry. Personal communication. Banks, R. Organofluorine Chemistry; Principles and Commercial Applications. Springer Science, New York. Nuclear Power: Understanding the Future. Bertolini, J. Hydrofluoric acid: A review of toxicity. Journal of Emergency Medicine, vol. Cotton, F. Drobny, J. Ebnesajjad, S.

Additional topics

Introduction to Fluoropolymers: Materials, Properties, Applications. Elsevier, Amsterdam. Kok, K. Nuclear Engineering Handbook. Konings, J.

Molecular weight of Uranium(IV) Fluoride

Comprehensive Nuclear Materials Vol 2. Naidoo, R. History of fluorine and HF at Necsa. Pelchem SoC Ltd.


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Roskill Information Services. The Economics of Fluorspar. Rudge, A. Preparation of elemental fluorine by electrolysis, Introduction to Electrochemical Processes. Kuhn, T. Chapter 5. Shia, G. Kirk-Othmer Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology. Hoboken, NJ. Slesser, C. McGraw-Hill, New York.

Chemistry Teacher - Isolation Of Fluorine : Dennis’ Method - Uses, Physical and Chemical Properties

Smith, R. Hydrogen fluoride.

Tsoulfanidis, N. The Nuclear Fuel Cycle. Wilson, P. Oxford Scientific Publications, oxford.

Radiation Effects

World Nuclear Association. The nuclear fuel cycle.. Yemelyanov, V. Pergamon Press, Oxford. Paper received Aug. All the contents of this journal, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License. Services on Demand Article. English pdf Article in xml format Article references How to cite this article Automatic translation. Scheele and many later investigators, including Davy, Gay-Lussac, Lavoisier, and Thenard, experimented with hydrofluoric acid, some experiments ending tragically. Fluorine is the most electronegative and reactive of all elements.

It is a pale yellow, corrosive gas, which reacts with most organic and inorganic substances. Finely divided metals, glass, ceramics, carbon, and even water burn in fluorine with a bright flame.

CDC - NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards - Uranium (insoluble compounds, as U)

Until World War II, there was no commercial production of elemental fluorine. The nuclear bomb project and nuclear energy applications, however, made it necessary to produce large quantities. Fluorine and its compounds are used in producing uranium from the hexafluoride and more than commercial fluorochemicals, including many high-temperature plastics.

Hydrofluoric acid etches glass of light bulbs. Fluorochlorohydrocarbons are extensively used in air conditioning and refrigeration. The presence of fluorine as a soluble fluoride in drinking water to the extent of 2 ppm may cause mottled enamel in teeth when used by children acquiring permanent teeth; in smaller amounts, however, fluoride helps prevent dental cavities.