Uranium Oxide Reduction Furnace for Sublimation Plant of Siberian Chemical Combine

The uranium oxide reduction furnace produces uranium dioxide (UO2) by reducing uranium oxides (UO3, U3O8) in flowing hydrogen. The furnace was fabricated in 2020 for the sublimation plant of the Siberian Chemical Combine. 

Uranium oxide is reduced in the internal cavity of the rotating retort. The retort sits on the frame with the angle of inclination adjusted by a screw jack. The rotary speed of the retort varies from 1 to 6 rpm. The retort also provides for the possibility of manual rotation in case of an emergency shutdown of the furnace.

The retort is housed inside a heating chamber with three heating zones. Six temperature transducers monitor the temperature in each zone. The hydrogen inlet is on the side of the screw discharger, whereas the outlet locates towards the screw feeder. Two slotted suctions equipped with hydrogen gas analyzers control hydrogen leakage. The design of the heating chamber enables replacing the retort.

The screw feeder is designed to meter and feed the bulk material into the retort, seal the internal cavity, and remove the spent reactant gas. The screw feeder is mounted to an upright hopper equipped with an agitator for uniform distribution of the product and upper and lower level sensors. The spent reactant gas is filtered and returned to the screw feeder.

The screw discharger is designed to meter and discharge the product from the furnace, seal the internal cavity, and supply the reactant gas. A cooling jacket decreases the temperature of the final product.

Thermally expanded graphite rings and locking gas (industrial nitrogen) seal the gaps between the retort and the screw feeder and discharger.

The furnace capacity is controlled by changing the speeds of the screw feeder, screw discharger, retort, and the angle of inclination of the retort.

Safety class to NP-016−05 – 3H.

 

General view of the reduction furnace

 

The Sosny R&D Company manufactured elements of the furnace and then mounted and tested the equipment at the sublimation plant of the Siberian Chemical Combine. The equipment has been successfully operated since August 2020.

 

 

 

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