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Abstract  

The plutonium processing facility at Los Alamos has adopted the strategic goal of becoming a facility that processes plutonium in a way that produces only environmentally benign waste streams. Pollution prevention through source reduction and environmentally sound recycling are being pursued. General approaches to waste reductions are administrative controls, modification of process technologies, and additional waste polishing. Recycling of waste materials, such as spent acids and salts, are technical possibilities and are being pursued to accomplish additional waste reduction. Liquid waste stream polishing to remove final traces of plutonium and hazardous chemical constituents is accomplished through (a) process modifications, (b) use of alternative chemicals and sorbents for residue removal, (c) acid recycling, and (d) judicious use of a variety of waste polishing technologies. Technologies that show promise in waste minimization and pollution prevention are identified. Working toward this goal of pollution prevention is a worthwhile endeavor, not only for Los Alamos, but for the Nuclear Complex of the future.

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Abstract  

Modern software has made the method of proportional equations easy to use. The method quickly yields oxidation state distributions for plutonium in aqueous solutions, so it serves as a check on the results obtained by other techniques. It is a versatile tool that incorporates mass and charge conservation without specifically starting those two laws.

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Abstract  

Disproportionation equations are illustrated for two oxidation numbers (N) and for the general case of any N. The new method illustrates the effect of N on the coefficients in disproportionation equations. An estimate of the equilibrium constant for the first hydrolysis reaction of tetravalent plutonium is obtained by a new approach. The estimated value agrees with many previous results.

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Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Authors: F. Pavlotskaya, I. Kazinskaya, E. Korobova, B. Myasoedov, and V. Emelyanov

Abstract  

Various geochemically linked landscapes were studied for the distribution of Chernobyl plutonium in soils.

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Abstract  

The forms of Chemobyl plutonium were determined in soils with model laboratory and field experiments.

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Abstract  

Plutonium(IV) oxidation has been studied in 1 to 20 mol/1 HNO3 under 1 to 14 W/1 internal alpha-irradiation and at plutonium concentrations from 2 to 100 mmol/1. Curium isotopes have been used as the basic alpha-irradiation sources. It has been established that in the systems investigated both oxidation of plutonium(IV) and reduction of plutonium(VI) take place, resulting with time in reaching the equilibrium between plutonium(IV) and plutonium(VI). The presence of plutonium(IV) enhances the reduction of plutonium(VI). The rate constants for plutonium(IV) oxidation and plutonium(VI) reduction have been estimated and their dependences upon the concentrations of nitric acid, plutonium(IV) and plutonium(VI) as well as upon the dose rate investigated. An equation has been derived which permits to calculate the concentrations of plutonium(IV) and plutonium(VI) at any desired time.

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Abstract  

Two predominance-region diagrams for plutonium are illustrated. One diagram plots the pH vs. the equilibrium fraction of hexavalent plutonium. The other diagram plots the equilibrium fraction of tetravalent plutonium vs. the plutonium oxidation number. Both diagrams define the boundaries of the regions where tri-, tetra-, penta-, and hexavalent plutonium are the predominant species. In each diagram, the two principal triple points are located at the intersections of three predominance-region boundary lines.

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Summary  

A predominance-region diagram for aqueous plutonium can be prepared by plotting the equilibrium fractions of tetra- and hexavalent plutonium. An example illustrates how the triple points can be used to estimate hydrolysis constants.

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Abstract  

Separations research at the Rocky Flats Plant /RFP/ has found ways to significantly improve plutonium secondary recovery from nitric acid waste streams generated by plutonium purifications operations. Capacity and break-through studies show anion exchange with Dowex 1×4 /50–100 mesh/ to be superior for secondary recovery of plutonium. Extraction chromatography with TOPO /tri-n-octylphosphine oxide/ on XAD-4 removes the final traces of plutonium, including hydrolytic polymer.

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Abstract  

The distribution of plutonium oxidation-states in acid solutions can be estimated if the pH and the fraction of one oxidation state can be determined. The approach applies to plutonium in laboratory solutions and to plutonium in water of the environment.

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