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  • 1 University of Texas at Austin Nuclear Engineering Teaching Lab, R-9000 Austin Texas, USA 78712 USA
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Cesium is a member of the Group I alkali metals, very reactive earth metals that react vigorously with both air and water. The chemistry of cesium is much like the chemistry of neighboring elements on the periodic table, potassium and rubidium. This close relation creates many problems in plant-life exposed to cesium because it is so easily confused for potassium, an essential nutrient to plants. Radioactive 134Cs and 137Cs are also chemically akin to potassium and stable cesium. Uptake of these radioactive isotopes from groundwater by plant-life destroys the plant-life and can potentially expose humans to the radioactive affects of 134Cs and 137Cs. Much experimental work has been focused on the separation of 137Cs from uranium fission products. In previous experimental work performed a column consisting of Kel-F supporting tetraphenylboron (TPB) was utilized to separate 137Cs from uranium fission products. It is of interest at this time to attempt the separation of 134Cs from 0.01M EDTA using the same method and Neoflon in the place of Kel-F as the inert support. The results of this experiment give a separation efficiency of 88% and show a linear relationship between the column bed length and the separation efficiency obtained.