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Subcritical Fission Mo99 Production

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A brief summary of a method to produce fission product Mo-99 without the need for a nuclear reactor.

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Subcritical Fission Mo99 Production

  1. 1. Solution  Target  Radioisotope  Generator Technical Review<br />May 27th 2009<br />Dr. John Gahl, University of Missouri<br />Michael Flagg, University of Missouri<br />
  2. 2. Welcome<br />Thank you to our partners at Advanced Medical Isotope Corporation (AMIC).<br />Dr. John Gahl is the interim Chair of Chemical Engineering at MU, Program Manager for Materials Science at MURR, serves as core faculty for Nuclear Engineering and is co-inventor of the IP discussed today.<br />Michael Flagg is a nuclear engineer, project manager at MURR and co-inventor of the radioisotope generator patent.<br />
  3. 3. Part 1 The Need<br />
  4. 4. Mo-99 Production<br />Mo-99 is the single most important imaging radioisotope used today<br />Supply is insecure<br />Over 10,000 “6 day Curies” used in the U.S. each week<br />No producer of Mo-99 in the United States<br />“Fission Product Mo-99” is the most efficient way of obtaining high specific activity Mo-99<br />Bulk of current Supply is made from HEU<br />Over 90% of fission product Mo-99 is made at facilities that are at least 40 years old<br />
  5. 5. Part 2The Technology<br />
  6. 6. The Core Concepts<br />When a photon with an energy of at least 2.224 MeV strikes a deuteron, a “photoneutron” is ejected from the deuteron’s nucleus.<br />Photons can be generated by accelerating electrons into a High-Z target. The number of photons generated by the electron accelerator increases linearly with the strength of the accelerator.<br />Uranium Salts are soluble in water. Uranyl Nitrate and Uranyl Sulfate have been used in Aqueous Homogenous Reactor Designs since the 1940’s.<br />Whenever U-235 fissions, Mo-99 makes up 6% of the fission products.<br />
  7. 7. The Intellectual Property<br />The University of Missouri (MU) holds the rights to two pieces of IP relevant to the core concepts:<br />IP #1: A photoneutron generator made up of a photon source driven by an electron beam accelerator targeted on a tank of D2O. Patent filed.<br />IP #2: A radioisotope generator composed of the above IP with fissile material salts as a target material dispersed in the D2O. Patent filed.<br />AMIC holds an option on both pieces of IP<br />
  8. 8. System Overview<br />Solution Target Radioisotope Generator<br />Subcritical loading of Uranium Salts in Heavy Water (D2O)<br />Commercial Electron Beam Accelerator and standard High-Z electron target to generate photons<br />Photoneutrons are generated, causing fission in the Uranium Salts<br />System is boosted by fission neutrons and reflectors<br />Extraction via columns or other separation techniques<br />
  9. 9. Generating Photoneutrons<br />
  10. 10.
  11. 11. Irradiation<br />Vessel<br />Molybdenum Extraction Station<br />Treatment and Sampling Station<br />Other Isotope(s) Extraction Station(s)<br />Simple, Direct Processing<br />Mo-99 extracted using special polymer sorbent material or alumina columns<br />No proliferation risk as the extraction stations can be tailored to pull only specific isotopes<br />
  12. 12. Production of Mo-99<br />All equipment is either simple to fabricate or off-the-shelf – no new science<br />Tank, pumps, piping, fission product gas handling, shielding, etc.<br />Strength of Electron Beam Accelerator determines number of photons<br />U-235<br />LEU is assumed<br />Loading of U-235 drives production of Mo-99<br />Optimized reflectors will significantly boost production<br />
  13. 13. Mo-99 Production Estimates<br />10MeV 1.0mA electrons<br />20kg Uranium<br />D2O fills chamber<br />LEU at 19% enrichment homogeneously mixed in D2O<br />150hour irradiation (6.25days)<br />100 cm x 100 cm tank<br />Reflector Material Varies<br />
  14. 14. Production Slides Removed, Propriety Data<br />
  15. 15. Extraction<br />Mo-99 has been extracted from uranyl sulfate solution in Russia using sorbent columns (Ball, Pavshook, et al, 1998)<br />Various methods exist to remove Mo-99 and concentrate it to meet European Pharmacopeia standards (no official US Pharmacopeia standards for Mo-99 as bulk API)<br />
  16. 16. Part 3The Prototypes<br />
  17. 17. Prototype 1<br />Used existing accelerator infrastructure at Idaho State University<br />Tested and collected data on configurations of heavy water and reflectors – no fissile target material<br />Proved the principle of significant photoneutron production in heavy water<br />Established that computer codes used to predict neutron flux (MCNPX) were accurate<br />
  18. 18. Prototype 2<br />Production facility to test system with fissile salts present and produce relevant amounts of Mo-99 for sale<br />Would include series of cold runs and benchtop chemistry to confirm removal of alpha-emitting impurities<br />Siting critical to rapid construction and testing of Prototype 2<br />
  19. 19. Rapid Path to Market<br />Subcritical system<br />NOT a reactor<br />Less onerous regulatory regime<br />Waste stream far less than hard target fission Mo-99 production<br />$1 million/year for every increment of 100 6-day Curies produced and sold at $200/Ci<br />
  20. 20. Questions?<br />

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