Separating lanthanides from actinides is a key process in reprocessing nuclear spent fuel. Plasma mass filters, which operate on dissociated elements, offer conceptual advantages for such a task as compared with conventional chemical methods. The capabilities of a specific plasma mass filter concept, called the magnetic centrifugal mass filter, are analyzed within this particular context. Numerical simulations indicate separation of americium ions from a mixture of lanthanides ions for plasma densities of the order of 10 12cm-3, and ion temperatures of about 10eV. In light of collision considerations, separating small fractions of heavy elements from a larger volume of lighter ones is shown to enhance the separation capabilities.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Condensed Matter Physics