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Evaluation of sodium bismuthate chromatographic systems for the separation of americium from curium

Abstract

The development of a successful and efficient americium (Am) and curium (Cm) separation method is necessary for stockpile stewardship science and for the simplification and improvement of currently proposed reprocessing schemes towards the closure of the nuclear fuel cycle. However, the similar chemical properties of these radionuclides (e.g., similar ionic radii, ionic bonding, and predominant trivalent oxidation states in acidic media) makes this difficult to achieve. Differences in redox chemistry can be exploited based on the fact that Am can be oxidized to higher oxidation states in acidic media while Cm cannot. Recently, the ability of solid sodium bismuthate to oxidize Am and its ion exchange properties were demonstrated in solvent extraction and chromatographic systems, but were limited by oxidation stability, kinetics, and flow rates. This dissertation focuses on evaluating and characterizing new solid-liquid chromatographic systems that combine both the oxidation and ion exchange mechanisms into one material for a continuous separation process. In addition, the solution behavior of NaBiO3 in nitric acid and the effect on acidity and dissolution kinetics is determined.

Description

2023 Summer.
Includes bibliographical references.

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Subject

americium
curium
sodium bismuthate
chromatography
actinides
radiochemistry

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