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Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Argonne National Lab. (ANL), Argonne, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) - Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation - Office of Material Management and Minimization (M3)
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Resource Relation:
Conference: 2015 Mo-99 Topical Meeting, 08/31/15 - 09/03/15, Boston, MA, US
Country of Publication:
United States
LEU-modified cintichem; Mo-99; dose; radiation

Citation Formats

Rotsch, D A, Tkac, P., Chemerisov, S., Makarashvili, V., Quigley, K. J., Gromov, R., Hafenrichter, L., and Vandegrift, G. F. SCALABILITY OF THE LEU-MODIFIED CINTICHEM PROCESS. United States: N. p., 2015. Web.
Rotsch, D A, Tkac, P., Chemerisov, S., Makarashvili, V., Quigley, K. J., Gromov, R., Hafenrichter, L., & Vandegrift, G. F. SCALABILITY OF THE LEU-MODIFIED CINTICHEM PROCESS. United States.
Rotsch, D A, Tkac, P., Chemerisov, S., Makarashvili, V., Quigley, K. J., Gromov, R., Hafenrichter, L., and Vandegrift, G. F. 2015. "SCALABILITY OF THE LEU-MODIFIED CINTICHEM PROCESS". United States. doi:.
author = {Rotsch, D A and Tkac, P. and Chemerisov, S. and Makarashvili, V. and Quigley, K. J. and Gromov, R. and Hafenrichter, L. and Vandegrift, G. F.},
abstractNote = {},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = 2015,
month = 1

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  • Molybdenum-99, the mother of Tc-99m, can be produced from fission of U-235 in nuclear reactors and purified from fission products by the Cintichem process, later modified for low-enriched uranium (LEU) targets. The key step in this process is the precipitation of Mo with α-benzoin oxime (ABO). The stability of this complex to radiation has been examined. Molybdenum-ABO was irradiated with 3 MeV electrons produced by a Van de Graaff generator and 35 MeV electrons produced by a 50 MeV/25 kW electron linear accelerator. Dose equivalents of 1.7–31.2 kCi of Mo-99 were administered to freshly prepared Mo-ABO. Irradiated samples of Mo-ABOmore » were processed according to the LEU Modified-Cintichem process. The Van de Graaff data indicated good radiation stability of the Mo-ABO complex up to ~15 kCi dose equivalents of Mo-99 and nearly complete destruction at doses >24 kCi Mo-99. The linear accelerator data indicate that even at 6.2 kCi of Mo-99 equivalence of dose, the sample lost ~20% of Mo-99. The 20% loss of Mo-99 at this low dose may be attributed to thermal decomposition of the product from the heat deposited in the sample during irradiation.« less
  • Presented here are recent experimental results on tests of a modified Cintichem process for producing {sup 99}Mo from low enriched uranium (LEU). Studies were focused in three areas: (1) testing the effects on {sup 99}Mo recovery and purity of dissolving LEU foil in nitric acid alone, rather than in the sulfuric/nitric acid mixture currently used, (2) measuring decontamination factors for radionuclide impurities in each purification step, and (3) testing the effects on processing of adding barrier materials to the LEU metal-foil target. The experimental results show that switching from dissolving the target in the sulfuric/nitric mixture to using nitric acidmore » alone should cause no significant difference in {sup 99}Mo product yield or purity. Further, the results show that overall decontamination factors for gamma emitters in the LEU-target processing are high enough to meet the purity requirements for the {sup 99}Mo product. The results also show that the selected barrier materials, Cu, Fe, and Ni, do not interfere with {sup 99}Mo recovery and can be removed during chemical processing of the LEU target.« less
  • A process is under development to use low-enriched uranium (LEU) metal targets for production of {sup 99}Mo. The first step is to dissolve the irradiated foil. In past work, this has been done by heating a closed (sealed) vessel containing the foil and a solution of nitric and sulfuric acids. In this work, the authors have demonstrated that (1) the dissolver solution can contain nitric acid alone, (2) uranium dioxide is also dissolved by nitric acid alone, and (3) barrier metals of Cu, Fe, or Ni on the U foil are also dissolved by nitric acid. Changes to the dissolvermore » design and operation needed to accommodate the uranium foil are discussed, including (1) simple operations that are easy to do in a remote-maintenance facility, (2) heat removal from the irradiated LEU foil, and (3) cold trap operation with high dissolver pressures.« less
  • Fission {sup 99}Mo will be produced in Chile irradiating low-enriched uranium (LEU) foil in a MTR research reactor. For the purpose of developing the capability to fabricate the target, which is done of uranium foil enclosed in swaged concentric aluminum tubes, dummy targets are being fabricated using 130 {mu}m copper foil instead of the uranium foil, wrapped in a 14{mu}m nickel fission-recoil barrier. Dummy targets using several dimensions of copper foil have been assembled; however, the emphasis is being set in targets fabricated using the dimensions of the LEU foil that KAERI will provide, i.e. 50 mm x 100mm xmore » 0.130 mm. The assembling of target using the last dimensions has not been free of difficulties. Neutronic calculations and preliminary thermal and fluid analyses were performed to estimate the fission products activity and the heat removal capability for a 13 grams LEU-foil annular target, which will be irradiated in the RECH-1 research reactor at the level power of 5 MW during 48 hours. In a fume hood, Cintichem processing of natural uranium shavings with the addition of different carriers were performed, obtaining recovery over 90% of the added Mo carrier. Expertise has been gained in (a) foil dissolution process in a dissolver locally designed, (b) in Mo precipitation process, and (c) preparation of the purification columns with AgC, C and HZrO. Additionally, the irradiated target cutting machine with an innovative design was finally assembled. (author)« less