Monday, June 18, 2007 - 8:35 AM
The Peregrins (Boise Centre on the Grove)

Selective extraction of americium and curium in acidic media by symmetric and asymmetric dithiophosphinic acids

Dean R. Peterman, Mitchell R. Greenhalgh, John R. Klaehn, Mason K. Harrup, Richard D. Tillotson, Thomas A. Luther, and Jack D. Law. Idaho National Laboratory, Idaho Falls, ID

The selective extraction of the minor actinides (Am(III) and Cm(III)) from the lanthanides is an important part of advanced reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel. This separation is difficult to accomplish due to the similarities in the chemical properties of the trivalent actinides and lanthanides. Research efforts at the Idaho National Laboratory have resulted in the recent development of an innovative synthetic pathway yielding new regiospecific dithiophosphinic acid (DPAH) extractants. The synthesis improves DPAH designs that can address the issues concerning minor actinide separation and extractant stability. Several new symmetric and asymmetric DPAH extractants have been prepared. The use of these extractants for the separation of minor actinides from lanthanides will be discussed. In addition, the variation in the extent of Am(III) extraction by a related series of DPAH isomers will be presented.