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Development of a new flowsheet for co-separating the transuranic actinides: The “EURO-GANEX” process

Abstract : A flowsheet for a novel GANEX (Grouped ActiNide EXtraction) process has been tested in a spiked flowsheet trial in a 32 stage plutonium-active centrifugal contactor rig with a simulant feed that contained 10 g/L plutonium as well as some fission products and other transuranic actinides. The solvent system used was a combination of 0.2 mol/L N,N,N’,N’-tetraoctyl diglycolamide (TODGA) and 0.5 mol/L N,N’-(dimethyl-N,N’-dioctylhexylethoxy-malonamide (DMDOHEMA) in a kerosene diluent that co-extracted actinides and lanthanides. Actinides were subsequently selectively co-stripped away from the lanthanides using a sulphonated and, therefore, hydrophilic bis-triazinyl pyridine (BTP) complexant in conjunction with acetohydroxamic acid (AHA). Plutonium and americium recoveries were high with decontamination factors across the strip contactors of ˜14,000 and ˜390, respectively. However, approximately 30% of neptunium was lost to the aqueous raffinate which was due to recycling within the first extract-scrub section causing a large build-up of neptunium. Some accumulation of strontium was also observed but in this case it was fully directed to the raffinate stream. In the stripping section, a small fraction of europium (taken as a model lanthanide ion), ca. 7%, was found in the actinide product stream. Modelling of selected data using the PAREX code has shown that even with a relatively simplistic treatment, reasonable agreement between modelling and experiment can be obtained, giving confidence in the use of modelling to refine the GANEX flowsheet design prior to further testing with irradiated fast reactor fuel
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Michael Carrott, Katie Bell, Jamie Brown, Andreas Geist, Colin Gregson, et al.. Development of a new flowsheet for co-separating the transuranic actinides: The “EURO-GANEX” process. Solvent Extraction and Ion Exchange, Taylor & Francis, 2014, 32 (5), pp.447-467. ⟨10.1080/07366299.2014.896580⟩. ⟨cea-03541573⟩

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