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Title: Sigma Team for Minor Actinide Separation: PNNL FY 2010 Status Report

Work conducted at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in FY 2010 addressed two lines of inquiry. The two hypotheses put forth were: 1. The extractants from the TRUEX( ) process (CMPO)( ) and from the TALSPEAK( ) process (HDEHP)( ) can be combined into a single process solvent to separate 1) the lanthanides and actinides from acidic high-level waste and 2) the actinides from the lanthanides in a single solvent extraction process. (Note: This combined process will hereafter be referred to as the TRUSPEAK process.) A series of empirical measurements performed (both at PNNL and Argonne National Laboratory) in FY 2009 supported this hypothesis, but also indicated some nuances to the chemistry. Lanthanide/americium separation factors of 12 and higher were obtained with a prototypic TRUSPEAK solvent when extracting the lanthanides from a citrate-buffered DTPA( ) solution. Although the observed separation factors are sufficiently high to design an actinide/lanthanide separation process, a better understanding of the chemistry is expected to lead to improved solvent formulations and improved process performance. Work in FY 2010 focused on understanding the synergistic extraction behavior observed for Nd(III) and Am(III) when extracted into mixtures of CMPO and HDEHP. The interaction between CMPO and HDEHP in dodecanemore » was investigated by 31P NMR spectroscopy, and an adduct of the type CMPO•HDEHP was found to form. The formation of this adduct will reduce the effective extractant concentrations and must be taken into account when modeling metal ion extraction data in this system. Studies were also initiated to determine the Pitzer parameters for Nd(III) in lactate media. 2. Higher oxidation states (e.g., +5 and +6) of Am can be stabilized in solution by complexation with uranophilic ligands, and this chemistry can be exploited to separate Am from Cm. To test this hypothesis, the previously reported stereognostic uranophilic ligands NPB( ) and ETAC(e) were investigated. To assess the potential of these ligands to stabilize pentavalent and hexavalent actinides, stability constants were measured for complexation of these ligands to Nd(III), Np(V), and Pu(VI) in a solvent mixture consisting of 80% methanol/20% water. For comparison, an analogous non-stereognostic ligand, NTA,(f) was also examined. The ligand ETAC showed greater binding affinity for hexavalent Pu versus trivalent Nd by two orders-of-magnitude. Such selectivity was not observed for either NTA or NPB.« less
Authors:
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
992371
Report Number(s):
PNNL-19655
AF5805000; TRN: US1007785
DOE Contract Number:
AC05-76RL01830
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), Richland, WA (US)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; ACTINIDES; ADDUCTS; AFFINITY; CHEMISTRY; DODECANE; HYPOTHESIS; LACTATES; MIXTURES; RARE EARTHS; SIMULATION; SOLVENT EXTRACTION; SOLVENTS; SPECTROSCOPY; STABILITY; TALSPEAK PROCESS; TRUEX PROCESS; VALENCE; WASTES