Radiation Stability of Benzyl Tributyl Ammonium Chloride Towards Technetium-99 Extraction

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A closed nuclear fuel cycle combining new separation technologies along with generation III and generation IV reactors is a promising way to achieve a sustainable energy supply. But it is important to keep in mind that future recycling processes of used nuclear fuel (UNF) must minimize wastes, improve partitioning process, and integrate waste considerations into processes. New separation processes are being developed worldwide to complement the actual industrialized PUREX process which selectively separates U(VI) and Pu(IV) from the raffinate. As an example, low nitric acid concentration in the aqueous phase of a UREX based process will co-extract U(VI) and Tc(VII) ... continued below

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Horkley, Jared; Roman, Audrey; Campbell, Keri; Nunez, Ana & Espartero, Amparo February 1, 2013.

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A closed nuclear fuel cycle combining new separation technologies along with generation III and generation IV reactors is a promising way to achieve a sustainable energy supply. But it is important to keep in mind that future recycling processes of used nuclear fuel (UNF) must minimize wastes, improve partitioning process, and integrate waste considerations into processes. New separation processes are being developed worldwide to complement the actual industrialized PUREX process which selectively separates U(VI) and Pu(IV) from the raffinate. As an example, low nitric acid concentration in the aqueous phase of a UREX based process will co-extract U(VI) and Tc(VII) by tri-n-butyl phosphate (TBP). Technetium (Tc-99) is recognized to be one of the most abundant, long-lived radiotoxic isotopes in UNF (half-life, t1/2 = 2.13 × 105 years), and as such, it is targeted in UNF separation strategies for isolation and encapsulation in solid waste forms for final disposal in a nuclear waste repository. Immobilization of Tc-99 by a durable solid waste form is a challenge, and its fate in new advanced technology processes is of importance. It is essential to be able to quantify and locate 1) its occurrence in any new developed flow sheets, 2) its chemical form in the individual phases of a process, 3) its potential quantitative transfer in any waste streams, and consequently, 4) its quantitative separation for either potential transmutation to Ru-100 or isolation and encapsulation in solid waste forms for ultimate disposal. Furthermore, as a result of an U(VI)-Tc(VII) co-extraction in a UREX-based process, Tc(VII) could be found in low level waste (LLW) streams. There is a need for the development of new extraction systems that would selectively extract Tc-99 from LLW streams and concentrate it for feed into high level waste (HLW) for either Tc-99 immobilization in metallic waste forms (Tc-Zr alloys), and/or borosilicate-based waste glass. Studies have been launched to investigate the suitability of new macrocompounds such as crown-ethers, aza-crown ethers, and resorcinarenes for the selective extraction of Tc-99 from nitric acid solutions. The selectivity of the ligand is important in evaluating potential separation processes and also the radiation stability of the molecule is essential for minimization of waste and radiolysis products. In this paper, we are reporting the extraction of TcO4- by benzyltributyl ammonium chloride (BTBA). Experimental efforts were focused on determining the best extraction conditions by varying the ligand’s matrix conditions and concentration, as well as varying the organic phase composition (i.e., diluent variation). Furthermore, the ligand has been investigated for radiation stability. The ?-irradiation was performed on the neat organic phases containing the ligand at different absorbed doses to a maximum of 200 kGy using external Co-60 source. Post-irradiation solvent extraction measurements will be discussed.

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  • Waste Management 2013 Conference,Phoenix,02/24/2013,02/28/2013

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  • Report No.: INL/CON-12-26532
  • Grant Number: DE-AC07-05ID14517
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 1082373
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc838884

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  • February 1, 2013

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  • May 19, 2016, 9:45 a.m.

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  • June 20, 2016, 3:49 p.m.

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Horkley, Jared; Roman, Audrey; Campbell, Keri; Nunez, Ana & Espartero, Amparo. Radiation Stability of Benzyl Tributyl Ammonium Chloride Towards Technetium-99 Extraction, article, February 1, 2013; Idaho Falls, Idaho. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc838884/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.