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PUREX raffinate

The term PUREX raffinate is a better term for the mixture of metals in nitric acid which are left behind when the uranium and plutonium have been removed by the PUREX process from a nuclear fuel dissolution liquor. This mixture is often known as high level nuclear waste.

Two PUREX raffinates exist. The most highly active raffinate from the first cycle is the one which is most commonly known as PUREX raffinate. The other is from the medium-active cycle in which the uranium and plutonium are refined by a second extraction with tributyl phosphate.

Deep blue is the bulk ions, light blue is the fission products (group I is Rb/Cs) (group II is Sr/Ba) (group III is Y and the lanthanides), orange is the corrosion products (from stainless steel pipework), green are the major actinides, violet are the minor actinides and magenta is the neutron poison)

Currently PUREX raffinate is stored in stainless steel tanks before being converted into glass. The first cycle PUREX raffinate is very radioactive. It has almost all of the fission products, corrosion products such as iron/nickel, traces of uranium, plutonium and the minor actinides.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "PUREX_raffinate". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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