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Title: PROCESSING OF NEUTRON-IRRADIATED URANIUM

Abstract

An improved "Purex" process for separating uranium, plutonium, and fission products from nitric acid solutions of neutron-irradiated uranium is offered. Uranium is first extracted into tributyl phosphate (TBP) away from plutonium and fission products after adjustment of the acidity from 0.3 to 0.5 M and heating from 60 to 70 deg C. Coextracted plutonium, ruthenium, and fission products are fractionally removed from the TBP by three scrubbing steps with a 0.5 M nitric acid solution of ferrous sulfamate (FSA), from 3.5 to 5 M nitric acid, and water, respectively, and the purified uranium is finally recovered from the TBP by precipitation with an aqueous solution of oxalic acid. The plutonium in the 0.3 to 0.5 M acid solution is oxidized to the tetravalent state with sodium nitrite and extracted into TBP containing a small amount of dibutyl phosphate (DBP). Plutonium is then back-extracted from the TBP-DBP mixture with a nitric acid solution of FSA, reoxidized with sodium nitrite in the aqueous strip solution obtained, and once more extracted with TBP alone. Finally the plutonium is stripped from the TBP with dilute acid, and a portion of the strip solution thus obtained is recycled into the TBPDBP for further purification.

Inventors:
Issue Date:
Research Org.:
Originating Research Org. not identified
OSTI Identifier:
4103673
Patent Number(s):
2951740
Assignee:
U.S. Atomic Energy Commission DTIE; NSA-15-007431
NSA Number:
NSA-15-007431
Resource Type:
Patent
Resource Relation:
Other Information: Orig. Receipt Date: 31-DEC-61
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
CHEMISTRY; ACIDITY; BUTYL PHOSPHATES; FISSION PRODUCTS; HEATING; IRON COMPOUNDS; IRRADIATION; MINERAL ACIDS; NEUTRONS; NITRIC ACID; NITRITES; NITROUS ACID; OXALIC ACID; OXIDATION; PLUTONIUM; PRECIPITATION; PUREX PROCESS; RECOVERY; RUTHENIUM; SEPARATION PROCESSES; SODIUM COMPOUNDS; SOLUTIONS; STRIPPING; SULFAMIC ACID; SULFONIC ACIDS; TBP; TEMPERATURE; URANIUM

Citation Formats

Hopkins, H.H. Jr. PROCESSING OF NEUTRON-IRRADIATED URANIUM. United States: N. p., 1960. Web.
Hopkins, H.H. Jr. PROCESSING OF NEUTRON-IRRADIATED URANIUM. United States.
Hopkins, H.H. Jr. Thu . "PROCESSING OF NEUTRON-IRRADIATED URANIUM". United States.
@article{osti_4103673,
title = {PROCESSING OF NEUTRON-IRRADIATED URANIUM},
author = {Hopkins, H.H. Jr.},
abstractNote = {An improved "Purex" process for separating uranium, plutonium, and fission products from nitric acid solutions of neutron-irradiated uranium is offered. Uranium is first extracted into tributyl phosphate (TBP) away from plutonium and fission products after adjustment of the acidity from 0.3 to 0.5 M and heating from 60 to 70 deg C. Coextracted plutonium, ruthenium, and fission products are fractionally removed from the TBP by three scrubbing steps with a 0.5 M nitric acid solution of ferrous sulfamate (FSA), from 3.5 to 5 M nitric acid, and water, respectively, and the purified uranium is finally recovered from the TBP by precipitation with an aqueous solution of oxalic acid. The plutonium in the 0.3 to 0.5 M acid solution is oxidized to the tetravalent state with sodium nitrite and extracted into TBP containing a small amount of dibutyl phosphate (DBP). Plutonium is then back-extracted from the TBP-DBP mixture with a nitric acid solution of FSA, reoxidized with sodium nitrite in the aqueous strip solution obtained, and once more extracted with TBP alone. Finally the plutonium is stripped from the TBP with dilute acid, and a portion of the strip solution thus obtained is recycled into the TBPDBP for further purification.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {1960},
month = {9}
}