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METHODS OF PRODUCING AND RECOVERING PLUTONIUM-238

United States Patent Application

20110265605
A1
View the Complete Application at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Idaho National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office Website
Methods of producing plutonium-238 are disclosed. One method includes dissolving neptunium-237 in a nitric acid solution to produce a neptunium target solution, subjecting the neptunium target solution to neutron radiation to produce plutonium-238, and removing the plutonium-238 from the neptunium target solution. A second method includes exposing a solution of neptunium-237 to neutron radiation to produce plutonium-238, complexing the plutonium-238 with an organophosphorus compound, and separating the plutonium-238/organophosphorus compound complex from the solution of neptunium-237. A third method includes dissolving neptunium-237 to form a neptunium-237 target solution, exposing the neptunium-237 to thermal neutrons to produce plutonium-238, utilizing an organophosphorus compound to complex the plutonium-238 and the organophosphorus compound, extracting the plutonium-238/organophosphorus compound complex from the irradiated neptunium target solution, and recovering the plutonium-238.
Meikrantz, David H. (Idaho Falls, ID), Werner, James E. (Idaho Falls, ID), Henry, Roger N. (Idaho Falls, ID), Martin, Leigh R. (Ammon, ID), Mincher, Bruce J. (Idaho Falls, ID), Bess, John D. (Idaho Falls, ID)
BATTELLE ENERGY ALLIANCE, LLC (Idaho Falls ID)
12/ 770,178
April 29, 2010
STATEMENT REGARDING FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT [0002] This invention was made with government support under Contract Number DE-AC07-05ID14517 awarded by the United States Department of Energy. The government has certain rights in the invention.