Skip to main content

Partitioning of Radioactive Wastes

Objective

Separation of long-lived actinides and fission products would reduce the radiotoxicity of Purex process high-level wastes. This would lower the costs and risks of final waste disposal

The aim of the work is to obtain distribution data, which are applicable to the development of a solvent extraction process for the separation of plutonium, neptunium, americium, curium and technetium from the highly active Purex waste solution (HAW). The target decontamination factors are 50000 for Am and Cm, 1000 for Pu and 100 for Np.

Application of solvent extraction for the treatment of highly radioactive materials is well developed. Existing knowledge of the chemistry and engineering of the method can serve as a starting point for the project work.
Separation of long lived actinides and fission products would reduce the radiotoxicity of Purex process high level wastes. This would lower the costs and risks of final waste disposal. The aim of is work is to develop the flowsheet of a solvent extraction process for the separation of plutonium, neptunium, americium, curium and technetium from the Purex wastes. Application of solvent extraction for treatment of highly radioactive materials is well developed. Existing knowledge of the chemistry and engineering of the method can serve as a starting point for the project work.

A report has been compiled which gives a critical survey of informations about the separation of long lived actinides and fission products from high level radioactive wastes. The experimental work was concentrated on the separation of transplutonides(III) from lanthanides(II). Less extensive was the investigation of the oxidation of neptunium(VI) before or during the extraction with tributyl phosphate (TBP).
Work programme:

Search for extractants or complexants which make it possible to separate transplutonides from fission lanthanides by solvent extraction.

Measurement of distribution and kinetic data for the elements to be separated and for lanthanides, and the working out of a proposal of a flowsheet.

Coordinator

Forschungszentrum Karlsruhe Technik und Umwelt GmbH
Address
Weberstraße 5
76133 Karlsruhe
Germany