The process of the invention is the separation of minor actinides from lanthanides in a fluid mixture comprising, fission products, lanthanides, minor actinides, rare earth elements, nitric acid and water by addition of an organic chelating aid to the fluid; extracting the fluid with a solvent comprising a first extractant, a second extractant and an organic diluent to form an organic extractant stream and an aqueous raffinate. Scrubbing the organic stream with a dicarboxylic acid and a chelating agent to form a scrubber discharge. The scrubber discharge is stripped with a simple buffering agent and a second chelating agent in the pH range of 2.5 to 6.1 to produce actinide and lanthanide streams and spent organic diluents. The first extractant is selected from bis(2-ethylhexyl)hydrogen phosphate (HDEHP) and mono(2-ethylhexyl)2-ethylhexyl phosphonate (HEH(EHP)) and the second extractant is selected from N,N,N,N-tetra-2-ethylhexyl diglycol amide (TEHDGA) and N,N,N',N'-tetraoctyl-3-oxapentanediamide (TODGA).
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357 between the U.S. Department of Energy and the UChicago Argonne, LLC, representing Argonne National Laboratory.