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Report No.

$$beta$$-MoO$$_{3}$$ whiskers in $$^{99}$$Mo/$$^{rm 99m}$$Tc radioisotope production and $$^{99}$$Mo/$$^{rm 99m}$$Tc extraction using hot atoms

Ngo, M. C.*; Fujita, Yoshitaka   ; Suzuki, Tatsuya*; Do, T. M. D.*; Seki, Misaki  ; Nakayama, Tadachika*; Niihara, Koichi*; Suematsu, Hisayuki*

Technetium-99m ($$^{rm 99m}$$Tc) is one of the most important radioisotopes for diagnostic radio-imaging applications. $$^{rm 99m}$$Tc is a daughter product of the $$^{99}$$Mo isotope. There are two methods used to produce $$^{99}$$Mo/$$^{rm 99m}$$Tc: the nuclear fission (n,f) and the neutron capture (n,$$gamma$$) methods. Between them, the (n,f) method is the main route, used for approximately 90% of the world's production. However, the (n,f) method faces numerous problems, including the use of highly enriched uranium, the release of highly radioactive waste, and nonproliferation problems. Therefore, the (n,$$gamma$$) method is being developed as a future replacement for the (n,f) method. In this work, $$beta$$-MoO$$_{3}$$ whiskers prepared by the thermal evaporation method and $$alpha$$-MoO$$_{3}$$ particles were irradiated in a nuclear reactor to produce $$^{99}$$Mo/$$^{rm 99m}$$Tc via neutron capture. The irradiated targets were dispersed into water to extract the $$^{99}$$Mo/$$^{rm 99m}$$Tc. As a result, $$beta$$-MoO$$_{3}$$ whisker yielded higher $$^{99}$$Mo extraction rate than that from $$alpha$$-MoO$$_{3}$$. In addition, by comparing the dissolved $$^{98}$$Mo concentrations in water, we clarified a prominent hot-atom of $$beta$$-MoO$$_{3}$$ whiskers. This research is the first demonstration of $$beta$$-MoO$$_{3}$$ being used as an irradiation target in the neutron capture method. On the basis of the results, $$beta$$-MoO$$_{3}$$ is considered a promising irradiation target for producing $$^{99}$$Mo/$$^{rm 99m}$$Tc by neutron capture and using water for the radioisotope extraction process in the future.



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