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IRSN, Institut de radioprotection et de sûreté nucléaire

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10/06/2008

Risks of explosion associated with "red oils" in reprocessing plants

As new countries are considering the development of reprocessing plants, IRSN publishes a technical note regarding the risks of explosion associated with "red oils".

 

This note presents the risks of explosion associated with reactions between TBP (tributylphosphate), its degradation products and nitrates derived from nitric acid or associated with heavy metals (uranium and plutonium), leading to the formation of unstable compounds known as "red oils".

Feedback from explosions associated with the formation of these compounds, occurring in reprocessing plants around the world, is dealt with concisely. The main measures for controlling these risks implemented in the French plants concerned are also presented.

Download the technical note (PDF file)

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