skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: PLUTONIUM PURIFICATION PROCESS EMPLOYING THORIUM PYROPHOSPHATE CARRIER

Abstract

The separation and purification of plutonium from the radioactive elements of lower atomic weight is described. The process of this invention comprises forming a 0.5 to 2 M aqueous acidffc solution containing plutonium fons in the tetravalent state and elements with which it is normally contaminated in neutron irradiated uranium, treating the solution with a double thorium compound and a soluble pyrophosphate compound (Na/sub 4/P/sub 2/O/sub 7/) whereby a carrier precipitate of thorium A method is presented of reducing neptunium and - trite is advantageous since it destroys any hydrazine f so that they can be removed from solutions in which they are contained is described. In the carrier precipitation process for the separation of plutonium from uranium and fission products including zirconium and columbium, the precipitated blsmuth phosphate carries some zirconium, columbium, and uranium impurities. According to the invention such impurities can be complexed and removed by dissolving the contaminated carrier precipitate in 10M nitric acid, followed by addition of fluosilicic acid to about 1M, diluting the solution to about 1M in nitric acid, and then adding phosphoric acid to re-precipitate bismuth phosphate carrying plutonium.

Inventors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Originating Research Org. not identified
OSTI Identifier:
4228906
Patent Number(s):
US 2884305
Assignee:
U.S. Atomic Energy Commission DTIE; NSA-13-022162
Resource Type:
Patent
Resource Relation:
Other Information: Orig. Receipt Date: 31-DEC-59
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
CHEMISTRY; ACIDITY; ACIDS; AMINES; ATOMS; CARRIERS; CHEMICAL REACTIONS; CHEMICALS; HYDROXIDES; HYDROXYLAMINE; IMPURITIES; IONS; PATENT; PHOSPHATES; PLUTONIUM; PLUTONIUM COMPOUNDS; PYROPHOSPHATES; QUANTITY RATIO; RADIOISOTOPES; RECOVERY; REDUCTION; REFINING; SEPARATION PROCESSES; SODIUM PHOSPHATES; SOLUTIONS; THORIUM COMPOUNDS; THORIUM PHOSPHATES; WATER; WEIGHT

Citation Formats

King, E.L.. PLUTONIUM PURIFICATION PROCESS EMPLOYING THORIUM PYROPHOSPHATE CARRIER. United States: N. p., 1959. Web.
King, E.L.. PLUTONIUM PURIFICATION PROCESS EMPLOYING THORIUM PYROPHOSPHATE CARRIER. United States.
King, E.L.. 1959. "PLUTONIUM PURIFICATION PROCESS EMPLOYING THORIUM PYROPHOSPHATE CARRIER". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_4228906,
title = {PLUTONIUM PURIFICATION PROCESS EMPLOYING THORIUM PYROPHOSPHATE CARRIER},
author = {King, E.L.},
abstractNote = {The separation and purification of plutonium from the radioactive elements of lower atomic weight is described. The process of this invention comprises forming a 0.5 to 2 M aqueous acidffc solution containing plutonium fons in the tetravalent state and elements with which it is normally contaminated in neutron irradiated uranium, treating the solution with a double thorium compound and a soluble pyrophosphate compound (Na/sub 4/P/sub 2/O/sub 7/) whereby a carrier precipitate of thorium A method is presented of reducing neptunium and - trite is advantageous since it destroys any hydrazine f so that they can be removed from solutions in which they are contained is described. In the carrier precipitation process for the separation of plutonium from uranium and fission products including zirconium and columbium, the precipitated blsmuth phosphate carries some zirconium, columbium, and uranium impurities. According to the invention such impurities can be complexed and removed by dissolving the contaminated carrier precipitate in 10M nitric acid, followed by addition of fluosilicic acid to about 1M, diluting the solution to about 1M in nitric acid, and then adding phosphoric acid to re-precipitate bismuth phosphate carrying plutonium.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 1959,
month = 4
}
  • Carrier precipitation processes for separating plutonium values from uranium fission products are described. Silicon dioxide or titanium dioxide in a finely divided state is added to an acidic aqueous solution containing hexavalent plutonium ions together with ions of uranium fission products. The supernatant solution containing plutonium ions is then separated from the oxide and the fission products associated therewith.
  • Bismuth phosphate carrier precipitation processes are described for the separation of plutonium from fission products wherein in at least one step bismuth phosphate is precipitated in the presence of hexavalent plutonium thereby carrying a portion of the fission products from soluble plu tonium values. In this step, a cerium phosphate precipitate is formed in conjunction with the bismuth phosphate precipitate, thereby increasing the amount of fission products removed from solution.
  • In this invention a first solution obtained from such as a plutonium/thorium purification process or the like, containing plutonium (Pu) and/or thorium (Th) in such as a low nitric acid (HNO.sub.3) concentration may have the Pu and/or Th separated and concentrated by passing an electrical current from a first solution having disposed therein an anode to a second solution having disposed therein a cathode and separated from the first solution by a cation permeable membrane, the Pu or Th cation permeating the cation membrane and forming an anionic complex within the second solution, and electrical current passage affecting the complexmore » formed to permeate an anion membrane separating the second solution from an adjoining third solution containing disposed therein an anode, thereby effecting separation and concentration of the Pu and/or Th in the third solution.« less
  • A method is described for separating and concentrating Pu and/or Th using a three-compartment electrolytic cell having the cathodes and anodes separated by permeable membranes. The first anode compartment contains the Pu and/or Th in a dilute HNO/sub 3/ solution, and application of an electric current to the first anode and the cathode in the second compartment causes the Pu and/or Th cation to permeate the first membrane and form an anionic complex in the second solution. Passage of an electric current affects the complex formed to permeate an anion membrane separating the second solution from a third solution containingmore » an anode to effect separation and concentration of the Pu and/or Th in the third solution. (BLM)« less