By means of a linear sweep voltammetry, a cyclic voltammetry and a chronopotentiometry, the electrolytic reduction of uranium oxide has been studied to establish the reduction mechanisms, which are based on a simultaneous uranium oxide reduction and a Li2O electrowinning, and the formation and electrolysis of lithium uranate. From the voltammograms, the reduction potentials of the uranium oxide and Li2O were obtained. From the chronopotentiometries based on the results of the voltammograms, the uranium oxide was reduced to uranium metal through the reduction mechanisms showing a more than 99% conversion. For a verification of the reduction mechanisms feasibility, basic data on the electrolytic reduction of the uranium oxide was obtained from the experiments and the characteristics of the closed recycle of Li2O were discussed.
KEYWORDS: uranium oxide, molten salt, electrolytic reduction, mechanism, voltammetry