Recovery of Oxidized Actinides, Np(VI), Pu(VI), and Am(VI), from Cocrystallized Uranyl Nitrate Hexahydrate: A Single Technology Approach to Used Nuclear Fuel Recycling

Academic Article


  • The utility of recovering cocrystallized Np, Pu, and Am from a uranyl nitrate hexahydrate crystalline phase has been examined. Progressive dissolution studies were carried out on samples of either Np(VI), Pu(VI), or Am(VI) cocrystallized with uranyl nitrate hexahydrate, resulting in a linear relationship between the amount of actinides dissolved as a function of volume of HNO3 added, which indicates homogeneous distribution of the transuranic species throughout the crystalline solid. The ratio of the concentration of U to the heavier actinides was maintained over the entire dissolution and mimicked that of the starting cocrystallization solution. A series of five crystallization-dissolution-recrystallization cycles of uranyl nitrate hexahydrate from nitric acid have been achieved in the presence of Am(VI), where the behavior of Am(VI) followed that of U(VI) for each step of all five cycles. Negligible reduction of Am(VI) to Am(III) was observed between each recrystallization cycle. These results indicate the utility of a group hexavalent actinide cocrystallization approach toward used nuclear fuel recycling.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Einkauf JD; Burns JD
  • Start Page

  • 4756
  • End Page

  • 4761
  • Volume

  • 59
  • Issue

  • 10