April 2, 2022
Journal Article

Separations of U/Pu and Np/Pu using fluoride volatility


The importance of uranium/plutonium and neptunium/plutonium separations at large scale or at environmental levels is such that the reactivity of nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) with respect to other fluorinating reagents warranted investigation. We show that NF3 does not convert PuO2 or PuF4 to PuF6, during separations of U/Pu and Np/Pu, even under forcing conditions. Herein, this is analytically demonstrated to trace level. Confidence in this result now allows for rapid and selective separations of volatile UF6 and NpF6 from plutonium. Preliminary data concerning the separation of 233Pa from 237Np is also described.

Published: April 2, 2022


McNamara B.K., M.J. O'Hara, S.S. Morrison, C.Z. Soderquist, A.M. Casella, R.A. Clark, and R. Carter. 2022. Separations of U/Pu and Np/Pu using fluoride volatility. Journal of Fluorine Chemistry 257–258. PNNL-SA-168450. doi:10.1016/j.jfluchem.2022.109952