Reprocessing of irradiated transmutation fuel targets
In the frame of a transmutation study carried out in the PHENIX reactor, 30% of the minor actinides (Np and Am) could be transmuted after 6 irradiation cycles. In this study the feasibility of recovering the remaining untransmuted actinides is demonstrated. About 100 g of a fuel containing initially 20% Np and 20% Am were dissolved under PUREX-type conditions in order to determine their behaviour in the head-end step of the reprocessing. An almost complete partitioning of actinides from the dissolver solution can be achieved. Chromatographic extraction was first used to separate the main bulk elements U, Pu and Np, followed by continuous countercurrent liquid-liquid extraction in centrifugal extractors to recover the minor actinides from the remaining high level liquid waste (HLLW) (mainly Am). The Ln/An separation is achieved in a separate process by means of a dithiophosphonic acid tributylphosphate (TBP) mixture at pH 3. The relevant radiotoxic actinide isotopes are thus available for new fuel fabrication.
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented : Fourth International Conference on Nuclear and Radiochemistry, St Malo (FR), September 8-13, 1996
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 39891 ORA
Record Number: 199610900 / Last updated on: 1996-09-16
Original language: en
Available languages: en