Bismuth phosphate process

Bismuth-phosphate process was a process used to extract plutonium from used nuclear fuel taken from nuclear reactors.[1][2] This process was used to produce all the plutonium of the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki in 1945. In 1952 this process was replaced by the Redox[3][4] and PUREX processes.


  1. US patent 2799553, Stanley G. Thompson and Glenn T. Seaborg, "Phosphate method for separation of radioactive elements"
  2. US patent 2785951, Stanley G. Thompson and Glenn T. Seaborg, "Bismuth Phosphate Method for the Separation of Plutonium from Aqueous Solutions"
  3. "Reduction-Oxidation Plant (REDOX)".
  4. Bond, A.H.; Nash, K.L.; Gelis, A.V.; Sullivan, J.C.; Jensen, M.P. & Rao, L. (2001). "Plutonium mobilization and matrix dissolution during experimental sludge washing of bismuth phosphate, redox, and purex waste simulants" (PDF). Separation Science and Technology. M. Dekker, New York. 36 (5-6): 1241–1256. doi:10.1081/ss-100103648.

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