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Mo-99 Production Using LEU Targets


D. Wu and S. Landsberger

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Urbana, Illinois USA

G.F. Vandegrift

Argonne National Laboratory
Argonne, Illinois 60439-4841 USA


Presented here are recent experimental results on tests of a modified Cintichem process for producing 99Mo from low enriched uranium (LEU). Studies were focused in three areas: (1) testing the effects on 99Mo recovery and purity of dissolving LEU foil in nitric acid alone, rather than in 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 the nitric acid alone should cause no significant difference in 99Mo product yields 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 99Mo product. The results also show that the selected barrier materials, Cu, Fe, and Ni, do not interfere with 99Mo recovery and can be removed during chemical processing of the LEU target.

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Last modified on July 29, 2008 11:34 +0200