Californium Purification and Electrodeposition
by J D Burns, S M Van Cleve, E H Smith, R A Boll
The staff at the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center, located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, produced a 6.3 ± 0.4 GBq (1.7 ± 0.1 Ci) 252Cf source for the Californium Rare Isotope Breeder Upgrade (CARIBU) project at Argonne National Laboratory’s Argonne Tandem Linac Accelerator System. The source was produced by electrodeposition of a 252Cf sample onto a stainless steel substrate, which required material free from excess mass for efficient deposition. The resulting deposition was the largest reported 252Cf electrodeposition source ever produced. Several different chromatographic purification methods were investigated to determine which would be most effective for final purification of the feed material used for the CARIBU source. The separation of lanthanides from the Cf was of special concern. The separation, using 145Sm, 153Gd, and 249Cf as tracers, was investigated using BioRad AG 50X8 in a hydroxyisobutyric acid, Eichrom LN resin in both HNO3 and HCl, and Eichrom TEVA resin in NH4SCN. The TEVA NH4SCN system was found to completely separate 145Sm and 153Gd from 249Cf and was adopted into the purification process used in purifying the 252Cf.