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Title: PROCESS FOR SEGREGATING URANIUM FROM PLUTONIUM AND FISSION-PRODUCT CONTAMINATION

Abstract

An aqueous nitric acid solution containing uranium, plutonium, and fission product values is contacted with an organic extractant comprised of a trialkyl phosphate and an organic diluent. The relative amounts of trialkyl phosphate and uranium values are controlled to achieve a concentration of uranium values in the organic extractant of at least 0.35 moles uranium per mole of trialkyl phosphate, thereby preferentially extracting uranium values into the organic extractant.

Inventors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Originating Research Org. not identified
OSTI Identifier:
4005649
Patent Number(s):
US 2990240
Assignee:
U.S. Atomic Energy Commission DTIE; NSA-15-019476
Resource Type:
Patent
Resource Relation:
Other Information: Orig. Receipt Date: 31-DEC-61
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
CHEMISTRY; ALKYL RADICALS; BUTYL PHOSPHATES; CONTAMINATION; FISSION PRODUCTS; NITRIC ACID; ORGANIC COMPOUNDS; PLUTONIUM; SEPARATION PROCESSES; SOLUTIONS; SOLVENT EXTRACTION; URANIUM; WATER

Citation Formats

Ellison, C.V., and Runion, T.C.. PROCESS FOR SEGREGATING URANIUM FROM PLUTONIUM AND FISSION-PRODUCT CONTAMINATION. United States: N. p., 1961. Web.
Ellison, C.V., & Runion, T.C.. PROCESS FOR SEGREGATING URANIUM FROM PLUTONIUM AND FISSION-PRODUCT CONTAMINATION. United States.
Ellison, C.V., and Runion, T.C.. 1961. "PROCESS FOR SEGREGATING URANIUM FROM PLUTONIUM AND FISSION-PRODUCT CONTAMINATION". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_4005649,
title = {PROCESS FOR SEGREGATING URANIUM FROM PLUTONIUM AND FISSION-PRODUCT CONTAMINATION},
author = {Ellison, C.V. and Runion, T.C.},
abstractNote = {An aqueous nitric acid solution containing uranium, plutonium, and fission product values is contacted with an organic extractant comprised of a trialkyl phosphate and an organic diluent. The relative amounts of trialkyl phosphate and uranium values are controlled to achieve a concentration of uranium values in the organic extractant of at least 0.35 moles uranium per mole of trialkyl phosphate, thereby preferentially extracting uranium values into the organic extractant.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 1961,
month = 6
}
  • Separation of plutonium present in small amounts from neutron irradiated uranium by making use of the phenomenon of chemisorption is described. Plutonium in the tetravalent state is chemically absorbed on a fluoride in solid form. The steps for the separation comprise dissolving the irradiated uranium in nitric acid, oxidizing the plutonium in the resulting solution to the hexavalent state, adding to the solution a soluble calcium salt which by the common ion effect inhibits dissolution of the fluoride by the solution, passing the solution through a bed or column of subdivided calcium fluoride which has been sintered to about 8OOmore » deg C to remove the chemisorbable fission products, reducing the plutonium in the solution thus obtained to the tetravalent state, and again passing the solution through a similar bed or column of calcium fluoride to selectively absorb the plutonium, which may then be recovered by treating the calcium fluoride with a solution of ammonium oxalate.« less
  • An improved precipitation of fission products on bismuth phosphate from an aqueous mineral acid solution also containing hexavalent plutonium by incorporating, prior to bismuth phosphate precipitation, from 0.05 to 2.5 grams/ liter of zirconium phosphate, niobium oxide. and/or lanthanum fluoride is described. The plutonium remains in solution.
  • It has been found that plutonium forms an insoluble precipitate with carbonate ion when the carbonate ion is present in stoichiometric proportions, while an excess of the carbonate ion complexes plutonium and renders it soluble. A method for separating tetravalent plutonium from lanthanum-group rare earths has been based on this discovery, since these rare earths form insoluble carbonates in approximately neutral solutions. According to the process the pH is adjusted to between 5 and 7, and approximately stoichiometric amounts of carbonate ion are added to the solution causing the formation of a precipitate of plutonium carbonate and the lanthanum-group raremore » earth carbonates. The precipitate is then separated from the solution and contacted with a carbonate solution of a concentration between 1 M and 3 M to complex and redissolve the plutonium precipitate, and thus separate it from the insoluble rare earth precipitate.« less
  • A process is given for removing plutonium and/or fission products from uranium fuel. The fuel is dissolved in molten zinc--magnesium (10 to 18% Mg) alloy, more magnesium is added to obtain eutectic composition whereby uranium precipitates, and the uranium are separated from the Plutoniumand fission-product- containing eutectic. (AEC)