Nuclear Techniques ›› 2019, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (8): 80605-080605.doi: 10.11889/j.0253-3219.2019.hjs.42.080605


Radionuclides separation and analysis after ThO2 irradiation in reactor

Ning LUO1,2,Jinsong ZHANG1,2,Banghong LIANG1,2,Yunming CHEN1,2,Liyong MA1,Dongping SU1,2,Jiebao CAO1,Jianrong WU1,2   

  1. 1. Nuclear Power Institute of China, Chengdu 610005, China
    2. Sichuan Engineering Research Center for Radioactive Isotope, Chengdu 610005, China
  • Received:2018-02-12 Revised:2019-01-11 Online:2019-08-10 Published:2019-08-26
  • About author:LUO Ning, male, born in 1982, graduated from Dalian Institute of Chemical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences with a doctoral degree in 2011, focusing on the preparation and application of radioisotopes

Abstract: Background

Thorium is a potential source of nuclear energy, and thorium fuel element has many unique advantages over the uranium-based fuel element. A lot of research on its utilization has been carried out in the world. In recent years, China has strengthened the research and application of thorium nuclear fuel, but compared with the uranium plutonium cycle, the basic data is very short and the technical foundation is very weak.


This study aims to optimize the process of the thorium, and provide basic data for the Th-U database.


First of all, ThO2 was irradiated in high flux engineering test reactor (HFETR), and irradiated ThO2 was dissolved by trifluomethanesulfonic acid (TFMS). Then, the fission nuclides such as 233Pa and 95Zr, 103Ru and 137Cs were analyzed to obtain their yields. Finally, the U/Th of the sample was separated by tributyl phosphate (TBP) extraction resin, and the content of U was analyzed and calculated by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) and γ spectrometer.


Under the condition of thermal neutron fluence of 1.32×1020 n·cm-2 (fast/thermal ratio about 2.8:1), the 233U and 232U content of 7.1 mg irradiated ThO2 were 8.01 μg (yield was 0.128%) and 1.21×10-4 μg respectively, the ratio of 232U/233U was 1.51×10-5.


The related data of the fission nuclide yield of 233U in the process of Th/U transformation is improved, especially in the lower case of thermal neutron injection. The relationship of correlation between the generation of 232U and the fast neutron is confirmed, and further the key problems of the relationship between nuclear and neutron injection of 233U and 232U is confirmed, too.

Key words: Thorium dioxide, ThO2, Thorium uranium cycle, 233U, 232U

CLC Number: 

  • TL27