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  • Author or Editor: N. Kapur x
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Abstract  

Partitioning of minor alpha-emitting actinides, especially U, Pu and Am from medium active alkaline waste is possible from intermediate level liquid wastes (ILLW) produced during spent fuel reprocessing following Purex process. This paper deals with the efficient removal of alpha-activity from ILLW by solvent extraction process. Counter current batch extraction with O/A ratio 2:1 as well as multistage mixer settler has demonstrated that most of the alpha-activity was removed from the alkaline effluents using 20% Versatic-10 (V-10) in dodecane after giving 3 to 4 contacts, thus converting alkaline waste as non-alpha waste. Under the optimum conditions (pH 9.0-9.5 and VA-10), both Pu(IV) and Am(III) are highly extractable whereas U(VI) is relatively poorly extracted. To assess the applicability of this process for regular treatment of the waste, a feasibility study on pilot plant scale using six stage mixer settler was operated to treat the ILLW. The results indicated that almost >99.90% alpha-emitting actinides are removed. Dilute nitric acid (0.5M HNO3) served as the most efficient strippant for all these actinides. This facilitate an easy regeneration of the extractant which can be recycled. This method is useful in obtaining alpha-free wastes and had positive impact on ease and safety aspects during subsequent waste treatment and long term storage.

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