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Potential of electrolytic processes for recovery of molybdenum from molten salts for 99Mo production...

by Jisue Moon, Kristian G Myhre, Hunter B Andrews, Joanna Mcfarlane
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Progress in Nuclear Energy
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Molten salt reactor (MSR) technologies are receiving significant interest for commercialization because of their potential safety features and efficient energy production. In addition to producing reliable and clean energy, high-value radioisotopes could be harvested from MSRs as an additional revenue stream. Although significant quantities of 99Mo will be produced in MSRs through fission, how accessible 99Mo will be for direct recovery from a fuel salt is unclear. Electrolytic processes in fused salts have been used extensively for processing molten salts and have the potential to enable the extraction of 99Mo directly from the fuel salt. This paper reviews the behavior of 99Mo in the molten salt reactor experiment and summarizes theoretical aspects of the electrolytic process in high-temperature fused salt and the published experimental results on Mo extraction through electrolytic processes. The general principle of fused-salt electrolytic processes is described, by electrodeposition of Mo with the following aspects: electrowinning, electrorefining, electroplating, and electroextraction with several experimental considerations. Finally, important considerations for recovery of 99Mo from MSR relevant molten salts via electrodeposition are discussed.