SciTech Connect

Title: Californium-252: a remarkable versatile radioisotope

Californium-252: a remarkable versatile radioisotope A product of the nuclear age, Californium-252 ({sup 252}Cf) has found many applications in medicine, scientific research, industry, and nuclear science education. Californium-252 is unique as a neutron source in that it provides a highly concentrated flux and extremely reliable neutron spectrum from a very small assembly. During the past 40 years, {sup 252}Cf has been applied with great success to cancer therapy, neutron radiography of objects ranging from flowers to entire aircraft, startup sources for nuclear reactors, fission activation for quality analysis of all commercial nuclear fuel, and many other beneficial uses, some of which are now ready for further growth. Californium-252 is produced in the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) and processed in the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center (REDC), both of which are located at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The REDC/HFIR facility is virtually the sole supplier of {sup 252}Cf in the western world and is the major supplier worldwide. Extensive exploitation of this product was made possible through the {sup 252}Cf Market Evaluation Program, sponsored by the United States Department of Energy (DOE) [then the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and later the Energy Research and Development Administration (ERDA)]. This program included more » training series, demonstration centers, seminars, and a liberal loan policy for fabricated sources. The Market Evaluation Program was instituted, in part, to determine if large-quantity production capability was required at the Savannah River Laboratory (SRL). Because of the nature of the product and the means by which it is produced, {sup 252}Cf can be produced only in government-owned facilities. It is evident at this time that the Oak Ridge research facility can meet present and projected near-term requirements. The production, shipment, and sales history of {sup 252}Cf from ORNL is summarized herein. « less
Authors: ;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:205871
Report Number(s):ORNL/TM--12706
ON: DE96006189; TRN: 96:008655
DOE Contract Number:AC05-84OR21400
Resource Type:Technical Report
Data Type:
Resource Relation:Other Information: PBD: 10 Oct 1995
Research Org:Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:USDOE, Washington, DC (United States)
Country of Publication:United States
Language:English
Subject: 07 ISOTOPE AND RADIATION SOURCE TECHNOLOGY; CALIFORNIUM 252; COMMERCIALIZATION; PRODUCTION; HISTORICAL ASPECTS; USES; RADIATION SOURCES