Synthesis of a triblock polymer system for separation of actinides for nuclear waste remediation
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Nuclear power waste contains radioactive isotopes with long half lives and the problem lies in the fact that the lanthanides and actinides must be separated before the nuclear waste can be reprocessed. Transuranic Extraction (TRUEX), a liquid-liquid extraction method, has been developed but fails to separate the lanthanide and actinides and creates large volumes of liquid waste. It has been shown that attaching three CMPO (carbamoyl phosphine oxide) ligands used in the TRUEX process to a calixarene increases the separation and extraction efficiency of the system. The research goal is to attach the CMPO ligand to a polymer to make a membrane to be used in nuclear waste remediation. The triblock polymer system has been designed to have a cross-linking group to create the membrane structure, a solubilizing group to improve the flow of aqueous media through the membrane, and the CMPO ligand to chelate actinides. This paper describes the design of the polymer, its synthesis, and my research data.