A method of converting radioactive alkali metal into a low level disposable solid waste material. The radioactive alkali metal is atomized and introduced into an aqueous caustic solution having caustic present in the range of from about 20 wt % to about 70 wt % to convert the radioactive alkali metal to a radioactive alkali metal hydroxide. The aqueous caustic containing radioactive alkali metal hydroxide and CO.sub.2 are introduced into a thin film evaporator with the CO.sub.2 present in an amount greater than required to convert the alkali metal hydroxide to a radioactive alkali metal carbonate, and thereafter the radioactive alkali metal carbonate is separated from the thin film evaporator as a dry powder. Hydroxide solutions containing toxic metal hydroxide including one or more metal ions of Sb, As, Ba, Be, Cd, Cr, Pb, Hg, Ni, Se, Ag and T1 can be converted into a low level non-hazardous waste using the thin film evaporator of the invention.
CONTRACTUAL ORIGIN OF THE INVENTION
The United States Government has rights in this invention pursuant to Contract No. W-31-109-ENG-38 between the U.S. Department of Energy and The University of Chicago representing Argonne National Laboratory.