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Controlled in-situ dissolution of an alkali metal

United States Patent

September 11, 2012
View the Complete Patent at the US Patent & Trademark Office
Idaho National Laboratory - Visit the Technology Transfer and Commercialization Office Website
A method for the controllable dissolution of one or more alkali metals from a vessel containing a one or more alkali metals and/or one or more partially passivated alkali metals. The vessel preferably comprising a sodium, NaK or other alkali metal-cooled nuclear reactor that has been used. The alkali metal, preferably sodium, potassium or a combination thereof, in the vessel is exposed to a treatment liquid, preferably an acidic liquid, more preferably citric acid. Preferably, the treatment liquid is maintained in continuous motion relative to any surface of unreacted alkali metal with which the treatment liquid is in contact. The treatment liquid is preferably pumped into the vessel containing the one or more alkali metals and the resulting fluid is extracted and optionally further processed. Preferably, the resulting off-gases are processed by an off-gas treatment system and the resulting liquids are processed by a liquid disposal system. In one preferred embodiment, an inert gas is pumped into the vessel along with the treatment liquid.
Jones; Jeffrey Donald (Shelley, ID), Dooley; Kirk John (Shelley, ID), Tolman; David Donald (Idaho Falls, ID)
The United States of America as represented by the United States Department of Energy (Washington, DC), N/A (
13/ 041,765
March 7, 2011
GOVERNMENT INTERESTS The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. DE-AC07-05ID14516, between the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and CH2M-WG.