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99Mo, the parent of the widely used medical isotope 99mTc, is currently produced by irradiation of enriched uranium in nuclear reactors. The supply of this isotope is encumbered by the aging of these reactors and concerns about international transportation and nuclear proliferation. Methods: We report results for the production of 99Mo from the accelerator-driven subcritical fission of an aqueous solution containing low enriched uranium. The predominately fast neutrons generated by impinging high-energy electrons onto a tantalum convertor are moderated to thermal energies to increase fission processes. The separation, recovery, and purification of 99Mo were demonstrated using a recycled uranyl sulfate solution. Conclusion: The 99Mo yield and purity were found to be unaffected by reuse of the previously irradiated and processed uranyl sulfate solution. Results from a 51.8-GBq 99Mo production run are presented. © 2017 by the Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging.


Amanda J Youker, Sergey D Chemerisov, Peter Tkac, Michael Kalensky, Thad A Heltemes, David A Rotsch, George F Vandegrift, John F Krebs, Vakho Makarashvili, Dominique C Stepinski. Fission-Produced 99Mo Without a Nuclear Reactor. Journal of nuclear medicine : official publication, Society of Nuclear Medicine. 2017 Mar;58(3):514-517

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PMID: 27688474

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