Chloride-Based Volatility for Waste Reduction and/or Reuse of Metallic-, Oxide- and Salt-Based Reactor Fuels

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Bellevue, Washington
Project Term:
08/05/2022 - 11/04/2025

Technology Description:

Chloride salts possess different levels of volatility at high temperatures, which can be used in targeted separations. TerraPower proposes to use a chloride-based volatility (CBV) process to separate uranium from used nuclear fuel (UNF), and investigate tunable CBV parameters to achieve a high degree of uranium recovery and thereby reduce waste volumes. Work will begin with surrogate oxide and molten salt used nuclear fuels and subsequently progress to demonstration with actual oxide UNF. CBV can be applied to metallic-, oxide-, and salt-based reactor fuels. It may be possible to reduce repository burdens by a factor of 10-20x, with prior work demonstrating recovery of better than 99% of uranium from irradiated oxide fuel. The proposed work will be used to predict performance parameters for a full-scale production line and clarify the economics of a production plant with multiple production lines.

Potential Impact:

By identifying and addressing challenges at the back end of the fuel cycle before the deployment of future AR technologies, ONWARDS will:


Support the growth of advanced nuclear energy with safe and sustainable domestic fuel stocks.


Play a vital role in significantly reducing GHG emissions, proactively mitigate the disposal impact of AR UNF with integrated non-proliferation safeguards, and provide transformative solutions to improve the management and disposal of radioactive waste and UNF.


Complement ARPA-E’s existing nuclear energy research portfolio, such as the MEITNER and GEMINA programs in AR R&D, further ensuring the commercial viability of innovative new ARs.


ARPA-E Program Director:
Dr. Robert Ledoux
Project Contact:
Dr. Perry Motsegood
Press and General Inquiries Email:
Project Contact Email:


Savannah River National Laboratory
New Mexico State University
Idaho National Laboratory

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