Process for the reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel to separate uranium and plutonium from the fission products and from one another. Following the dissolution of the irradiated fuel in aqueous nitric acid, uranium and plutonium are transferred to an organic phase by intensive mixing with an organic solvent extraction – 30 percent tributyl phosphate (TBP) in kerosene is used as organic solvent – while the fission products remain in the aqueous nitric phase. Further process steps enable the subsequent separation of uranium and plutonium from one another.

Principle of the PUREX process for the separation of uranium and plutonium from fission products