Radiolytic Degradation of Heterocyclic Nitrogen Containing Ligands from Low Dose-Rate Gamma Sources
Paper in proceedings, 2010
Chemical processes intended for the separation of various elements in used nuclear fuel will inetvitably take place in an environment exposed to ionizing radiation. Solutions used in liquid-liquid extraction processes must therefore be resistant towards radiolysis. This study presents a collection of radiolysis experiments with BTP and BTBP type molecules carried out at Chalmers University of Technology over a period of several years. The molecules both aim to extract trivalent actinides into an organic phase while leaving lanthanides in the aqueous phase. Detailed knowledge about the radiolysis behavior of BTP and BTBP type molecules can enhance the design of new, more radiolytically stable extractants and facilitate any future implementation of triazine containing ligands in an industrial process. Results show that many factors, e.g. dose rate and diluent composition, influence the radiolytic stability of these molecules. There are also strong indications that the radiolysis products of the BTBP ligand are still able to coordinate and extract metal ions, effectively altering the chemical equilibrium constants.