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  • 1 Fuel Reprocessing Division Bhabha Atomic Research Centre Trombay, Mumbai 400 085 India
  • | 2 Radiochemistry Division Bhabha Atomic Research Centre Radiochemistry Division Trombay, Mumbai 400 085 India
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Abstract  

Silica-gel has been used as an inert support for the extraction chromatographic separation of actinides and lanthanides from HNO3 and synthetic high level waste (HLW) solutions. Silica-gel was impregnated with tri-butyl phosphate (TBP), to yield STBP; 2-ethylhexyl phosphonic acid, mono 2-ethylhexyl ester (KSM-17, equivalent to PC-88A), SKSM; octyl(phenyl)-N,N-diisobutyl carbamoylmethylphosphine oxide (CMPO), SCMPO; and trialkylphosphine oxide (Cyanex-923), SCYN and sorption of Pu(IV), Am(III) and Eu(III) from HNO3 solutions was studied batchwise. Several parameters, like time of equilibration, HNO3 and Pu(IV) concentrations were varied. The uptake of Pu(IV) from 3.0M HNO3 followed the order SCMPO>SCYN>SKSM>STBP. With increasing HNO3 concentration, DPu increased up to 3.0M of HNO3 for STBP, SKSM and SCMPO and then decreased. In the case of Am and Eu with SCMPO, the D values initially increased between 0.5 to 1.0M of HNO3, remained constant up to 5.0M and then slightly decreased at 7.5M. Also, the effects of NaNO3, Nd(III) and U(VI) concentrations on the uptake of Am(III) from HNO3 solutions were evaluated. With increasing NaNO3 concentration up to 3.0M, DAm remained almost constant while it was observed that it decreases drastically by adding Nd(III) or U(VI). The uptake of Pu and Am from synthetic pressurized heavy water reactor high level waste (PHWR-HLW) in presence of high concentrations of uranium and after depleting the uranium content, and finally extraction chromatographic column separation of Pu and Am from U-depleted synthetic PHWR-HLW have been carried out. Using SCMPO, high sorption of Pu, Am and U was obtained from the U-depleted HLW solution. These metal ions were subsequently eluted using various reagents. The sorption results of the metal ions on silica-gel impregnated with several phosphorus based extractants have been compared. The uptake of Am, Pu and rare earths by SCMPO has been compared with those where CMPO was sorbed on Chromosorb-102, Amberchrom CG-71 and styrene divinylbenzene copolymer immobilized in porous silica particles.