The invention provides a method for extracting plutonium from spent nuclear fuel, the method comprising supplying plutonium in a first aqueous phase; contacting the plutonium aqueous phase with a mixture of a dielectric and a moiety having a first acidity so as to allow the plutonium to substantially extract into the mixture; and contacting the extracted plutonium with second a aqueous phase, wherein the second aqueous phase has a second acidity higher than the first acidity, so as to allow the extracted plutonium to extract into the second aqueous phase. The invented method facilitates isolation of plutonium polymer without the formation of crud or unwanted emulsions.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The U.S. Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357 between the U.S. Department of Energy and UChicago Argonne, LLC, representing Argonne National Laboratory.