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Mo-99 Production Using LEU Targets


R.A. Leonard, L. Chen, C.J. Mertz and G.F. Vandegrift

Argonne National Laboratory
Chemical Technology Division
Argonne, Illinois 60439-4841 USA


A process is under development to use low-enriched uranium (LEU) metal targets for production of 99Mo. 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, we 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 dissolver 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.

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Dr. Ralph A. Leonard
Argonne National Laboratory
Chemical Technology Division
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Last modified on July 29, 2008 11:33 +0200