Radioisotope Production

Isotopes (both stable and radioactive) are essential components of the science and technology base of the US economy. With widespread applications in research, medicine, and industry, isotopes will play a significant role in defining our society's capabilities and standard of living in the 21st century. The unique MNRC reactor configuration permits flexible irradiation processes and makes MNRC an ideal partner for radioisotope related projects. A variety of research and commercial radioisotopes can be produced in small quantities upon request.

In addition to offering Na-24 and Ar-41 radioactive tracers for industrial applications, MNRC is developing a new Radioisotope Science Laboratory with specialized radiochemistry facilities. A plan to incorporate MNRC in an active national network of facilities, under US Department of Energy sponsorship, is currently under way, and partnerships with the private sector have already been developed. MNRC intends to help the nation reach radioisotope self-sufficiency through its new Radioisotope Science Laboratory and by applying novel technologies to research and develop new radioisotope irradiation and processing techniques. This work will also provide new opportunities for education and training in the nuclear sciences.

The following is a list of some of the radioisotope for which production processes are being researched and developed at MNRC:

Isotope Halflife Application
Iodine-125
(in preparation)
60.1 days Prostate cancer and macular degeneration treatment, radioimmunoassay, etc.
Copper-64
(in preparation)
12.7 hours Nuclear Medicine
Molybdenum-99
(in preparation)
2.7 days Tc-99m generators used in diagnostic nuclear medicine
Samarium-153
(planned)
1.9 days Bone Palliation
Promethium-147
(planned)
2.62 years Radioisotope micro-power sources


Other Research Radioisotopes

A variety of research radioisotopes that do not require radiochemical treatment can be produced at MNRC upon request utilizing a neutron flux up to 2 x 1013 n/cm2s.