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Plutonium removal by ion exchange chromatography

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Abstract

A study of Pu recovery at trace level from U solutions by ion exchange technique is presented. Plutonium retention >99.5% onto strong anionic resin, AG-X8, from nitric acid solutions and a 92% recovery using 0.4M HNO3 at 60°C as eluent, were obtained. Uranium interference in Pu sorption from mixed U/Pu nitrate solutions with low U/Pu ratio (∼25) was not verified. However, for high U/Pu ratio solutions (∼10000), uranium interference in Pu retention on the resin, decreases to 59%. Selecting the loading conditions and using AG-X4 resin, 99% Pu retention was achieved. The Pu product is still contaminated with U and another purification cycle is recomended. A scheme for U/Pu first cycle separation is proposed.

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Araujo, B.F., Matsuda, H.T., Carvalho, E.I. et al. Plutonium removal by ion exchange chromatography. Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry Letters 165, 209–217 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF02164760

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Keywords

  • Uranium
  • Nitric Acid
  • Plutonium
  • Exchange Chromatography
  • Nitrate Solution