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Title: Development and Testing of an Americium/Lanthanide Separation Flowsheet Using Sodium Bismuthate

The separation of Am from the lanthanides and curium is a key step in proposed advanced fuel cycle scenarios. The partitioning and transmutation of Am is desirable to minimize the long-term heat load of material interred in a future high-level waste repository. A separation process amenable to process scale-up remains elusive. Given only subtle chemistry differences within and between the ions of the trivalent actinide and lanthanide series this separation is challenging ; however, higher oxidation states of americium can be prepared using sodium bismuthate and separated via solvent extraction using diamylamylphosphonate (DAAP) extraction. Among the other trivalent metals only Ce is also oxidized and extracted. Due to the long-term instability of Am(VI) , the loaded organic phase is readily selectively stripped to partition the actinide to a new acidic aqueous phase. Batch extraction distribution ratio measurements were used to design a flowsheet to accomplish this separation. Additionally, crossflow filtration was investigated as a method to filter the bismuthate solids from the feed solution prior to extraction. Results of the filtration studies, flowsheet development work and flowsheet performance testing using a centrifugal contactor are detailed.
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Conference: ICAPP 2014,Charolette, NC,04/06/2014,04/09/2014
Research Org:
Idaho National Laboratory (INL)
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Country of Publication:
United States
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS americium; oxidation; solvent extraction