(259g) Effect of Process Parameters on Chlorination of Metallic Rare Earth/Actinide Mixtures

Authors: 
Okabe, P., University of Utah
Rappleye, D. S., Livermore National Laboratory
Newton, M., University of Utah
Simpson, M., University of Utah
Separation of actinides from rare earth metals has benefits in metallurgy for rare earth extraction as well as nuclear for reprocessing nuclear materials. Efficient separation is challenging, because of the similarities between actinides and lanthanides. Traditional aqueous solvent extraction methods are often undesirable because of the need to dispose of large volumes of toxic, radioactive solvents in addition to the threat for their application to proliferation. A two-step process is being developed to prepare actinide/rare earth solid metal samples for purification—featuring hydriding followed by chlorination. Results for experiments are reported in which metal samples containing cerium, uranium, and transition metals were hydrided with H2 followed by chlorination with anhydrous Cl2. Results will be reported for varying parameters such as temperature, exposure time, and gas dilution to determine the effect of these parameters on metal conversion to chlorides. Chloride ion selective electrodes are the primary method for measuring the extent of chlorination of the metal samples.