Uranium and neodymium partitioning in alkali chloride melts using low-melting gallium-based alloys

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Abstract

Partitioning of uranium and neodymium was studied in a ‘molten chloride salt - liquid Ga-X (X = In or Sn) alloy’ system. Chloride melts were based on the low-melting ternary LiCl-KCl-CsCl eutectic. Nd/U separation factors were calculated from the thermodynamic data as well as determined experimentally. Separation of uranium and neodymium was studied using reductive extraction with neodymium acting as a reducing agent. Efficient partitioning of lanthanides (Nd) and actinides (U), simulating fission products and fissile materials in irradiated nuclear fuels, was achieved in a single stage process. The experimentally observed Nd/U separation factor valued up to 106, depending on the conditions.

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