Seminar Details

Separation of Trivalent Lanthanides from the Minor Actinides

Dale Ensor, Tennessee Technological University
Wednesday, April 25, 4:10 PM - Nuclear Science Seminar
NSCL Lecture Hall
Please note the special location.

The separation of the trivalent actinides from the trivalent lanthanides continues to be one of the more difficult problems in separation science. Interest in this problem is increasing as a result of the need for separation of americium and curium (minor actinides) from the lanthanide fission products for advanced reprocessing of used nuclear fuels. The successful separation of these elements would allow the minor actinides to be recycled for reactor fuel where they would be consumed and the remaining lanthanides could be disposed in a suitable waste form. Solvent extraction processes have been developed to accomplish this task and involve the tendency of the minor actinides to form stronger complexes than do lanthanides with soft donor atoms such as nitrogen and sulfur. A brief history of the separation of actinide elements will be presented along with current efforts to utilize soft donor atoms to develop an efficient and robust separation process.