Comparison of the effect of alpha and gamma radiolysis on the extraction of americium by C5-BTBP in cyclohexanone.
Journal article, 2011
Solvent extraction is a separation technique suitable for the treatment of used nuclear fuel. Two immiscible phases are contacted and the metals of interest are extracted from one phase into the other, most often using so called extractants. One group of extractants is the bis(triazine)-bipyridine (BTBP) type molecules. These molecules have been developed within EU research programs for the separation of actinides from lanthanides. During such an extraction process, the components of the two phases will be exposed to ionizing radiation, since the used fuel contains many highly radioactive species. Radiolytic reactions can alter the chemistry of the extracting system, and affect the metal extraction by degradation of the extractant and the formation of degradation products. In this paper the effect of irradiation with alpha particles and gamma rays, respectively, has been studied for one of the BTBP type molecules, C5-BTBP.