Liquid-liquid aqueous extraction methods for reprocessing metallic fuels have two main disadvantages. First, the process involves many steps such as dissolution in acid; extraction, conversion to a salt, and reduction to the metallic state. Secondly, relatively large volumes of radioactive solutions are obtained.
This paper describes small scale, semi-continuous extraction runs for extracting irradiated neodymium from a molten uranium-neodymium alloy using droplets of molten silver at 1250° and 1290°C. Two different silver drop sizes and f'low .rates were used. The graphite extractor, silver metering device, and the extract sampling equipment are described.
The experimental extraction data obtained are presented. These data were correlated reasonably well with equations developed for multistage batch extractions. The actual neodymium concentrations obtained were compared with equilibrium data to determine extraction efficiencies for the various runs . Extraction efficiencies of 15% to 35% were found, with higher efficiencies resulting when large sized drops were used. In these runs, a considerable amount of neodymium was apparently removed by carbide formation with the container wall prior to the extraction with silver .
Olson, Edwin H.; Smutz, Morton; and Watson, Clayton W., "Extraction equipment and sampling technique used in semi-continuous silver-uranium extraction studies" (1959). Ames Laboratory Technical Reports. 2.