METHOD FOR SEPARATION OF PLUTONIUM FROM URANIUM AND FISSION PRODUCTS BY SOLVENT EXTRACTION
METHOD FOR SEPARATION OF PLUTONIUM FROM URANIUM AND FISSION PRODUCTS BY SOLVENT EXTRACTION A process is given for separating from each other uranium, plutonium, and fission products in an aqueous nitric acid solution by the so-called Redox process. The plutonium is first oxidized to the hexavalent state, e.g., with a water-soluble dichromate or sodium bismuthate, preferably together with a holding oxidant such as potassium bromate. potassium permanganate, or an excess of the oxidizing agent. The solution is then contacted with a water-immiscible organic solvent, preferably hexone. whereby uranium and plutonium are extracted while the fission products remain in the aqueous solution. The separated organic phase is then contacted with an aqueous solution of a reducing agent, with or without a holding reductant (e.g., with a ferrous salt plus hydrazine or with ferrous sulfamate), whereby plutonium is reduced to the trivalent state and back- extracted into the aqueous solution. The uranium may finally be back-extracted from the organic solvent (e.g., with a 0.1 N nitric acid).
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