The Potential Production of MOLYBDENUM 99 in CANDU Reactors
32nd Annual CNS Conference - 2011 June 05-08

Presented at:
32nd Annual CNS Conference
2011 June 05-08
Niagara Falls, Canada
Session Title:
Radiation Applications, Dose and Medical Isotopes

Andrew C. Morreale (McMaster University)
David R. Novog (McMaster University)
John C. Luxat (McMaster University)


Technicium-99m is an important isotope utilized worldwide in nuclear medicine.  Its parent isotope, Molybdenum-99, is a fission product of U-235 and is produced commercially in a few reactors around the world.  The CANDU®[1] reactor with its ability to fuel online and enhanced neutron economy has the potential to produce large quantities of Mo-99. This paper explores production strategies in the low power periphery channels in a generic CANDU reactor.  A small group of channels can yield 100-115% of the world demand for Mo-99 with minor impacts on standard fuelling operations.  While the infrastructure for handling and processing these quantities of material does not currently exist, this paper demonstrates the feasibility of producing large quantities of Mo-99 in a standard CANDU reactor.

[1] CANDU is a trademark of Atomic Energy of Canada.

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