Burn-Up Measurements on Dissolver Solution of Mixed Oxide Fuel Using HPLC-Mass Spectrometric Method


Burn-up measurement on an irradiated mixed oxide (MOX) test fuel pellet was carried out through measurements on the dissolver solution by HPLC-Thermal Ionization Mass Spectrometric (TIMS) technique. The studies carried out using HPLC as well as TIMS for quantification of burn-up value are described. While in one case, both the separation and determination of elements of interest (U, Pu and Nd) were carried out by HPLC; in another case, TIMS technique was used to quantify them from the HPLC separated fractions.The rapid separation procedures developed in our laboratory earlier were employed to isolate pure fractions of the desired elements. The individual lanthanide fission products (La to Eu) were separated from each other using dynamic ion-exchange chromatographic technique whereas uranium and plutonium were separated from each other using reversed phase chromatographic technique. The pure fractions of U, Pu and Nd obtained after HPLC separation procedure for “spiked” and “unspiked” dissolver solutions were used in TIMS measurements for the first time in our laboratory. In TIMS analysis, isotopic abundances of uranium, plutonium and neodymium fractions obtained from HPLC separation procedure on an “unspiked” fuel sample were measured. For the determination of U, Pu and Nd by isotopic dilution mass spectrometric technique (IDMS), known quantities of tracers enriched in 238U, 240Pu and 142Nd were added to the pre-weighed dissolver solution and subjected to HPLC separation procedures. The isotope ratios viz. 142Nd/(145Nd +146Nd), 238U/233U and 240Pu/239Pu in the pertinent “spiked” fractions were subsequently measured by TIMS. The spikes were pre-standardized in our laboratory employing reverse isotopic dilution technique against the standard solutions available in our laboratory (for 238U, 239Pu and 142Nd, standard solutions of 233U, 239Pu (of higher abundance than in the sample) and 150Nd were employed as spikes). The burn-up values from duplicate spiking experiments were computed based on the summation of 145Nd + 146Nd. The concentrations of neodymium, uranium and plutonium were also measured using HPLC with post-column derivatisation technique using aresenazo(III) as the post-column reagent. The atom % burn-up computed from HPLC and TIMS techniques were in good agreement.

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Bera, S. , Balasubramanian, R. , Datta, A. , Sajimol, R. , Nalini, S. , S. Lakshmi Narasimhan, T. , P. Antony, M. , Sivaraman, N. , Nagarajan, K. and R. Vasudeva Rao, P. (2013) Burn-Up Measurements on Dissolver Solution of Mixed Oxide Fuel Using HPLC-Mass Spectrometric Method. International Journal of Analytical Mass Spectrometry and Chromatography, 1, 55-60. doi: 10.4236/ijamsc.2013.11007.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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