Degree Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Nuclear Engineering

First Advisor

B. I. Spinrad


Purex reprocessing of 10-year cooled LWR fuel was investigated. The three major areas of research were (1) process description and flowsheet calculations, (2) plant design, and (3) cost estimation. Involvement of nearly 13 times less radioactivity in the 10-year cooled fuel than that in the 150-day (standard cooling time) cooled fuel, and the adoption of coprocessing of U and Pu in a new flowsheet rather than the complete partitioning of the standard purex method resulted in several simplifications in process and design over the standard purex method handling 150-day cooled fuel, leading to a simpler and more economic design for reprocessing;The flowsheet calculations showed that a 4-cycle (codecontamination, partial partitioning, finish partitioning, and U stripping) solvent extraction process was adequate to meet the decontamination requirements. An integrated plant with minimum storage of inputs and outputs and no storage of intermediate streams was designed to produce calcined U+Pu and U products, glassified HLW, and bottled rare gases. The direct capital cost of the proposed design did not exceed that of a standard base-case plant like Dupont by more than 35%. Compared to a modern-day plant like SAFAR, the total capital cost of the project was considerably lower. The estimated unit product costs were too high to obtain a reasonable pretax annual return on investment. Therefore, the proposed project was not found profitable enough to attract private sector. However, for a waste repository with a capacity of 72,000 MT U originally loaded and 3 accommodating reprocessing plants owned by the government, the combined overall savings for selecting the reprocessing cycle over the once-through ranged from 1.87 to 2.52 billion in 1987 depending on the repository medium.



Digital Repository @ Iowa State University,

Copyright Owner

Okan H. Zabunoglu



Proquest ID


File Format


File Size

211 pages