Platom has a long history of delivering UF6 (uranium hexafluoride) autoclaves to uranium enrichment facilities. One of our main business lines is delivery of autoclaves for UF6 processing (feeding, sampling and transfer). Our knowhow on autoclaves is particularly focused on UF6 handling including pressure vessel, mechanics, instrumentation and control, automation, safety features, coatings as well as auxiliary equipment.
About uranium hexafluoride
Uranium hexafluoride (molecular formula UF6) is an inorganic compound that is a volatile white solid in room temperature. When heated, UF6 liquefies and vaporizes. In all of its phases, UF6 reacts rapidly with water and water vapor releasing corrosive hydrofluoric acid. Gaseous UF6 reacts faster and releases more heat than reaction with solid UF6.
UF6 is typically stored in ANSI standard cylinders ranging from approx. 0,5 kg (1 lb.) to 12,7 ton (28 000 lb.). UF6 is fed into cylinder either as liquid phase or most commonly on gaseous phase. Liquid operations, like transfer or sampling, are made with autoclaves. Gas phase operations are performed with feed / withdrawal stations (e.g., feed ovens and cold boxes).
Uttermost care is required when UF6 is heated. It is safest to do it inside the autoclave where all components and materials are carefully selected. Autoclave safety systems are designed to prevent overheating and over pressurization of UF6 cylinders.
Platom can offer various solutions for moving UF6 cylinders inside the plant (e.g., enrichment, conversion, or fuel manufacturing plant) and on the storage yard, from robust rail transporters to AGV (autonomously guided vehicle) transporters.
For liquid transfer operations of UF6 Platom has developed a containment that adds an extra layer of safety to prevent UF6 leaks. There are two to three autoclaves and process equipment inside the containment.
Cooling systems are essential for liquid UF6 operations. Platom has experience of developing cooling systems down to -55°C (-67 °F) implemented with various heat transfer liquids.
Feed / withdraw
Platom has developed a subatmospheric feed / withdrawal station as an option for autoclave, for processes where liquid phase of UF6 is not required.
Platom can also provide auxiliary equipment required for UF6 cylinder handling, like loading and weighing stations, working platforms, process piping, cable ladders, etc.
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