DOI: 10.1595/003214003x4727487 ISSN: 0032-1400

Recovery of Value Fission Platinoids from Spent Nuclear Fuel

Zdenek Kolarik, Edouard V. Renard
  • Metals and Alloys

Radioactive high-level liquid wastes originating from reprocessing spent nuclear fuel can be a valuable source of platinum metals. The recovery of fission palladium and rhodium is of particular interest and is being investigated worldwide. The radioactivity of fission platinoids is reduced to a non-hazardous level after decontamination from other fission products by a factor of 1010. The intrinsic radioactivity of fission palladium is weak and can be tolerated in many applications, while that of fission rhodium decays to an acceptable level only after storing for about 30 years. With emphasis on recent achievements, this paper, which covers periodical, report and patent literature, reviews the behaviour of fission platinoids in basic separation operations. Aqueous methods, such as solvent extraction, ion exchange, electrolysis, precipitation and redox reactions, are dealt with as well as pyrochemical methods, such as molten salts/metal extraction and solid phase reactions. A second part, to be published in a later issue, considers separation processes.