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Title: Commercial Superconducting Electron Linac for Radioisotope Production

The majority of radioisotopes used in the United States today come from foreign suppliers or are generated parasitically in large government accelerators and nuclear reactors. Both of these restrictions limit the availability of radioisotopes and discourage the development and evaluation of new isotopes and for nuclear medicine, science, and industry. Numerous studies have been recommending development of dedicated accelerators for production of radioisotopes for over 20 years (Institute of Medicine, 1995; Reba, et al, 2000; National Research Council, 2007; NSAC 2009). The 2015 NSAC Long Range Plan for Isotopes again identified electron accelerators as an area for continued research and development. Recommendation 1(c) from the 2015 NSAC Isotope report specifically identifies electron accelerators for continued funding for the purpose of producing medical and industrial radioisotopes. Recognizing the pressing need for new production methods of radioisotopes, the United States Congress passed the American Medical Isotope Production Act of 2012 to develop a domestic production of 99Mo and to eliminate the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in the production of 99Mo. One of the advantages of high power electron linear accelerators (linacs) is they can create both proton- and neutron-rich isotopes by generating high energy x-rays that knock out protons ormore » neutrons from stable atoms or by fission of uranium. This allows for production of isotopes not possible in nuclear reactors. Recent advances in superconducting electron linacs have decreased the size and complexity of these systems such that they are economically competitive with nuclear reactors and large, high energy accelerators. Niowave, Inc. has been developing a radioisotope production facility based on a superconducting electron linac with liquid metal converters.« less
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  1. Niowave, Inc., Lansing, MI (United States)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
Report Number(s):
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Niowave, Inc., Lansing, MI (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Nuclear Physics (NP) (SC-26)
Contributing Orgs:
Idaho State Univ., Pocatello, ID (United States). Idaho Accelerator Center (IAC)
Country of Publication:
United States
43 PARTICLE ACCELERATORS; Superconducting Electron Linac; Radioisotope; uranium fission fragments; photonuclear reactions; photo-fission