2017 | AFC ACCOMPLISHMENTS 126 Figure 1. The neptunium oxide reduction setup in the Hot Uniaxial Press Furnace insert. Amethod of reducing neptunium oxide to neptunium metal using calcium metal and calcium chloride salt was previously developed. Unfortunately, some conditions have changed and the process is no longer working efficiently. Much of this year’s work has focused on understanding what has caused this process change and upgrading the equipment necessary to increase the efficiency of neptunium production in the future. In addition, the remaining starting material from the original batch was exhausted during FY17.A large batch of new starting material was obtained and broken out into quantities that can be handled in the facility where the reduction is performed. 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 Neptunium Feedstock Reduction Experiments Principal Investigator: Leah Squires Collaborators: Scott Wilde, James King, Randy Scott, Dru Charles, Mark Lounsbury, Cory Brower, Ryan Johnson, James Newman, Steven Monk, Ryan Pitt, Blair Grover