2017 | AFC ACCOMPLISHMENTS 122 3.1 AR FUELS DEVELOPMENT Metallic Americium Feedstock Production Principal Investigator: Leah Squires Collaborators: James King, Scott Wilde, Cory Brower, James Newman, Ryan Johnson, Dru Charles, Steven Monk, Mark Lounsbury, Blair Grover Amethod of distilling americium metal from a mixture of americium and neptunium metals has been developed. Multiple parameters were investigated to optimize the process. The goal for this year was to distill approximately 10g of pure americium in support of a collaboration with the French. Over 15g of pure americium metal was produced. Project Description: The disposal of spent nuclear fuel is one of the main challenges facing the nuclear power industry due to the long term health and safety hazards of storing the material once it is removed from the reactor. A key factor in reducing the hazards associated with long term storage is the reduction or elimination of minor actinides in the fuel such as neptunium, americium and curium, which have relatively long half- lives.Transmutation is one method currently under investigation to resolve this issue.Transmutation aims to incorporate the long lived actinides into new fuel which can be placed in a fast reactor where the elements of concern will fission into products which have shorter half- lives. In order to develop the process of transmutation it is necessary to first fabricate small quantities of fuel with minor actinide additives on which to perform thorough characterization and irradiation testing. Since americium is a key component in the fabrication of transmutation fuels and, currently, there is very little of this material in existence as pure metal, it is necessary to develop methods to isolate it from the feedstock material that is available.The majority of the americium bearing feedstock available is in oxide or mixed metal form. Due to the numerous types of americium bearing feedstock available, many of which are in small quantities, methods for isolating the material must be continuously developed.