|The difficult process of partitioning the minor actinides|
Partitioning the actinides would have to be done in several stages. Extracting neptunium (Np) would require only the adaptation of the PUREX industrial process. Meanwhile, americium (Am) and curium (Cm) would first need to be partitioned jointly with the fission products classed as lanthanides (DIAMEX process). The next stage (SANEX process) would be to extract both of these minor actinides from the lanthanides, which are 50 times more abundant, and then to separate the americium from the curium.
|CEA (Source: Clefs CEA N53/Dominique Boullis)|