Highly-isotopically-enriched nitrogen (HE-N2; 15N abundance ≥ 99.9%) is indispensable for a nitride fueled fast reactor (FR) cycle to minimize the effect of carbon-14 (14C) generated mainly by 14N(n,p)14C reaction in the core on environmental burden. Thus, the development of inexpensive 15N enrichment and recycling technology is one of the key aspects for the commercialization of a nitride fueled FR cycle. Nitrogen isotope separation by the gas adsorption technique was experimentally confirmed in order to obtain its technological perspective. A conventional pressure swing adsorption technique, which is already commercialized for recovering the nitrogen gas from multi-composition gas-mixture, would be suitable for recovering in both reprocessing and fuel fabrication to recycle the HE-N2 gas. A couple of the nitride fuel cycle system concepts including the reprocessing and fuel fabrication process flow diagrams with the HE-N2 gas recycling were newly designed for both aqueous and non-aqueous (pyrochemical) nitride fuel recycle plants, and also the effect of the HE-N2 gas recycling on the economics of each concept was evaluated.

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