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  • Author or Editor: P. Magesvaran x
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Abstract  

During nuclear fuel reprocessing, monitoring of U and Pu concentration in every stage is very essential for process control purpose. A simple and fast spectrophotometric method for a simultaneous estimation of U and Pu in Plutonium Uranium Recovery by Extraction (PUREX) process’s tail end stream like Pu product where Pu concentration is much richer than that of U is described here. The method involves reduction of the bulk amount of Pu to Pu(III) using ascorbic acid in 1 M HNO3. Visible absorption peaks were measured at 416 nm for U and at 600 nm for Pu using a fiber optic probe of path length 40 mm. The methodology enables quantification of U and Pu concentration in the Pu product samples with a precision of 2.8 and 2.1%, respectively.

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Abstract  

To achieve end user’s specified PuO2, controlling and monitoring of Pu in its fourth valency state is essential prior to the conversion of Pu-nitrate to its oxide through oxalate precipitation process. Conventional radiometric procedure for the analysis of Pu oxidation state in Pu-nitrate solution containing trace level of Pu(III) has limitation due to oxidation of Pu(III) during the sample preparation with respect to acidity. A simple direct spectrophotometry using an optic fiber spectrophotometer was attempted for the estimation of trace level of Pu(III), after separating the bulk amount of Pu(IV) by maintaining the sample acidity. By using a synergistic mixture of 30 % TBP and 1 M theonyl trifluoro acetone in benzene, the Pu(IV) could be removed to a level which doesn’t interfere in the Pu(III) absorption.

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