|Types of facilities|
The final stage of reprocessing of spent nuclear fuel involves the separation of plutonium in a solvent phase (tributyl/phosphate/odourless kerosene) from the uranium/plutonium/fission product mixture. The solvent containing plutonium as nitrate at about 10E+6 Bq/ml is sampled in a number of lightly shielded cabinets before the solvent is stripped to leave plutonium nitrate in the aqueous phase.
Plutonium nitrate leaked from a corroded pipe to the containment cell and accumulated as a crystalline solid mass. There was no release to the Operations Areas nor to the Environment. The spillage was removed, the plant repaired and restarted.