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Title: Method of separating thorium from plutonium

Abstract

A method of chemically separating plutonium from thorium is claimed. Plutonium and thorium to be separated are dissolved in an aqueous feed solution, preferably as the nitrate salts. The feed solution is acidified and sodium nitrite is added to the solution to adjust the valence of the plutonium to the +4 state. A chloride salt, preferably sodium chloride, is then added to the solution to induce formation of an anionic plutonium chloride complex. The anionic plutonium chloride complex and the thorium in solution are then separated by ion exchange on a strong base anion exchange column.

Inventors:
;
OSTI Identifier:
5382918
Application Number:
ON: DE84005933
Assignee:
EDB-84-036840
DOE Contract Number:
W-7405-ENG-36
Resource Type:
Patent
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
37 INORGANIC, ORGANIC, PHYSICAL AND ANALYTICAL CHEMISTRY; PLUTONIUM; ION EXCHANGE; SEPARATION PROCESSES; THORIUM; PLUTONIUM NITRATES; THORIUM NITRATES; ACTINIDE COMPOUNDS; ACTINIDES; ELEMENTS; METALS; NITRATES; NITROGEN COMPOUNDS; OXYGEN COMPOUNDS; PLUTONIUM COMPOUNDS; THORIUM COMPOUNDS; TRANSURANIUM COMPOUNDS; TRANSURANIUM ELEMENTS; 400105* - Separation Procedures

Citation Formats

Clifton, D.G., and Blum, T.W.. Method of separating thorium from plutonium. United States: N. p., Web.
Clifton, D.G., & Blum, T.W.. Method of separating thorium from plutonium. United States.
Clifton, D.G., and Blum, T.W.. . "Method of separating thorium from plutonium". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_5382918,
title = {Method of separating thorium from plutonium},
author = {Clifton, D.G. and Blum, T.W.},
abstractNote = {A method of chemically separating plutonium from thorium is claimed. Plutonium and thorium to be separated are dissolved in an aqueous feed solution, preferably as the nitrate salts. The feed solution is acidified and sodium nitrite is added to the solution to adjust the valence of the plutonium to the +4 state. A chloride salt, preferably sodium chloride, is then added to the solution to induce formation of an anionic plutonium chloride complex. The anionic plutonium chloride complex and the thorium in solution are then separated by ion exchange on a strong base anion exchange column.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {},
month = {}
}
  • A method of chemically separating plutonium from thorium. Plutonium and thorium to be separated are dissolved in an aqueous feed solution, preferably as the nitrate salts. The feed solution is acidified and sodium nitrite is added to the solution to adjust the valence of the plutonium to the +4 state. A chloride salt, preferably sodium chloride, is then added to the solution to induce formation of an anionic plutonium chloride complex. The anionic plutonium chloride complex and the thorium in solution are then separated by ion exchange on a strong base anion exchange column.
  • A method is described for chemically separating plutonium from thorium. Plutonium and thorium to be separated are dissolved in an aqueous feed solution, preferably as the nitrate salts. The feed solution is acidified and sodium nitrite is added to the solution to adjust the valence of the plutonium to the +4 state. A chloride salt, preferably sodium chloride, is then added to the solution to induce formation of an anionic plutonium chloride complex. The anionic plutonium chloride complex and the thorium in solution are then separated by ion exchange on a strong base anion exchange column.
  • BS>One volume of a nitric acid solution of neutron-irradiated thorium containing 13 m/ HNO/sub 3/, 1.5 m/l Th nitrate, 0.5 m/l Al nitrate, 0.04 m/l F ions, and 0.003 m/l Hg ions and being 0.3N deficient in nitrate lons, is countercurrently extracted with 5 volumes of a solution consisting of 42 vol.% TBP and 58 vol.% saturated hydrocarbon. The organic phase thus obtained is washed with 1 volume of an aqueous 0.5 m/l aluminum nitrate solution, which is 0.3N deficient in nitrate ions and contains 0.003 m/l phosphate ions. The composition of the combined aqueous phases, containing palladium and fissionmore » products, is adjusted to 2.5 m/l aluminum nitrate, 1.3N nitrate ion deficiency, and 0.3 m/l chromate ion; the resultant coprecipitate of aluminum chromate and palladium is separated from the liquid containing the fission products. The precipitate can be stocked as a source of pure U/sup 233/; alternatively palladium can be extracted from it. The 5 volumes of the organic phase, containing thorium and uranium, are extracted with 6 volumes 0.2N aqueous nitric acid; the aqueous extract is washed out with 1 volume TBP extractant. The resulting aqueous phase contains thorium while the uranium is left in the organic phase. It can be recovered by extracting 6 volumes of this phase with 3 volumes 0.05M aqueous nitric acid and contacting the aqueous solution with a cation exchanger. (NPO)« less
  • S>Plutonium(IV) ions can be reduced in an acid medium to Pu(III) ions by means of ascorbic acid. For separating plutonium from uranium, a nitric acid solution of Pu(IV) ions and U(IV) ions in tributyl phosphate is extracted with an aqueous ascorbic acid solution; Pu(III) ions are transferred to the aqueous phase. (NPO)