55 2000 Universal Solvent Extraction In collaboration with the Khlopin Radium Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia, Idaho researchers helped develop the Universal Solvent Extraction (UNEX) process for simultaneous separation of cesium, strontium and actinides in acidic high-activity tank waste.The process was the first demonstrated technology of its kind capable of removing multiple radioactive elements from high-level nuclear waste in one step.The breakthrough dated back to 1994 and the end of the Cold War, when Idaho scientists traveled to Russia to compare technologies that each country had independently developed for nuclear waste cleanup. After examining what each had, they jointly came up with an extractant that worked better than any of the original technologies alone.