Systems studies on the extraction of uranium from seawater
Author(s)Driscoll, Michael J.; Best F. R.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Energy Laboratory
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Nuclear Engineering
United States. Department of Energy. Grand Junction Office
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This report summarizes the work done at MIT during FY 1981 on the overall system design of a uranium-from-seawater facility. It consists of a sequence of seven major chapters, each of which was originally prepared as a stand-alone internal progress report. These chapters trace the historical progression of the MIT effort, from an early concern with scoping calculations to define the practical boundaries of a design envelope, as constrained by elementary economic and energy balance considerations, through a parallel evaluation of actively-pumped and passive current-driven concepts, and thence to quantification of the features of a second generation system based on a shipboard-mounted, actively-pumped concept designed around the use of thin beds of powdered ion exchange resin supported by cloth fiber cylinders (similar to the baghouse flyash filters used on power station offgas). An assessment of the apparently inherent limitations of even thin settled-b! ed sorber media then led to selection of an expanded bed (in the form of an ion exchange "wool"), which would permit an order of magnitude increase in flow loading, as a desirable advance. Thus the final two chapters evaluate ways in which this approach could be implemented, and the resulting performance levels which could be attained. Overall, U 308 production costs under 200 $/lb appear to be within reach if a high capacity (several thousand ppm U) ion exchange wool can be developed.
Includes bibliographical references
[Cambridge, Mass.] : Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Energy Laboratory, 1981
Energy Laboratory report (Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Energy Laboratory) ; no. MIT-EL 81-038MITNE ; no. 248