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Abstract

Three different conversion and refining methods for the preparation of high purity plutonium metal are described: the calciothermic reduction of plutonium oxide followed by electrorefining; the thoriothermic reduction of plutonium oxide followed by selective evapouration; the tantalothermic reduction of plutonium carbide followed by selective evapouration. The calciothermic reduction of plutonium oxide followed by electrorefining is used for the semi-industrial or large scale production of high purity plutonium metal. The rate and yield of preparation and refining is high. With high purity reactants the reduction of the oxide with thorium is well adapted to obtain high purity plutonium metal on the laboratory scale. The tantalothermic reduction of plutonium carbide gives high purity plutonium metal even with impure plutonium starting material (recovered from waste). This results from the high selectivity at the different steps of the process.

Additional information

Authors: SPIRLET J.C, JRC KARLSRUHE ESTAB. (GERMANY);JRC GEEL ESTAB. (BELGIUM);MUELLER W, JRC KARLSRUHE ESTAB. (GERMANY);JRC GEEL ESTAB. (BELGIUM);VAN AUDENHOVE J JRC KARLSRUHE ESTAB. (GERMANY), JRC KARLSRUHE ESTAB. (GERMANY);JRC GEEL ESTAB. (BELGIUM);JRC GEEL ESTAB. (BELGIUM), JRC KARLSRUHE ESTAB. (GERMANY);JRC GEEL ESTAB. (BELGIUM)
Bibliographic Reference: MEETING OF THE INTERNATIONAL NUCLEAR TARGET, ANVERS (BELGIUM), SEPT. 25-28, 1984 WRITE TO CEC LUXEMBOURG, DG XIII/A2, POB 1907 MENTIONING PAPER E 32138 ORA
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