The Fission Product Extraction (FPEX) Process is being developed as part of the United States Department of Energy Advanced Fuel Cycle Initiative for the simultaneous separation of cesium (Cs) and strontium (Sr) from spent light water reactor (LWR) fuel. Separation of the Cs and Sr will reduce the short-term heat load in a geological repository, and when combined with the separation of americium (Am) and curium (Cm), could increase the capacity of the geological repository by a factor of approximately 100. The FPEX process is based on two highly specific extractants: 4,4',(5')-Di-(t-butyldicyclo-hexano)-18-crown-6 (DtBuCH18C6) and Calix[4]arene-bis-(tertoctylbenzo-crown-6) (BOBCalixC6). The DtBuCH18C6 extractant is selective for strontium and the BOBCalixC6 extractant is selective for cesium. Results of flowsheet testing of the FPEX process with a simulated feed solution in 3.3-cm centrifugal contactors are detailed. Removal efficiencies, distribution coefficient data, coextraction of metals, and process hydrodynamic performance are discussed along with recommendations for future flowsheet testing with actual spent nuclear fuel.

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