Background: the gamma-emitting radionuclide Technetium-99m (99mTc) is still the workhorse of Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) as it is used worldwide for the diagnosis of a variety of phatological conditions.99mTc is obtained from99Mo/99mTc generators as pertechnetate ion, which is the ubiquitous starting material for the preparation of 99mTc radiopharmaceuticals.99Mo in such generators is currently produced in nuclear fission reactors as a by-product of235U fission. Here we investigated an alternative route for the production of99Mo by irradiating a natural metallic molybdenum powder using a 14-MeV accelerator-driven neutron source. Methods: after irradiation, an efficient isolation and purification of the final99mTc-pertechnetate was carried out by means of solvent extraction. Monte Carlo simulations allowed reliable predictions of99Mo production rates for a newly designed 14-MeV neutron source (New Sorgentina Fusion Source). Results: in traceable metrological conditions, a level of radionuclidic purity consistent with accepted pharmaceutical quality standards, was achieved. Conclusions: we showed that this source, featuring a nominal neutron emission rate of about 1015 s− 1, may potentially supply an appreciable fraction of the current99Mo global demand. This study highlights that a robust and viable solution, alternative to nuclear fission reactors, can be accomplished to secure the long-term supply of99Mo. © 2018 by the authors.

14 MeV neutrons for99Mo/99mTc production: Experiments, simulations and perspectives

Pizzuto, A.;Pillon, M.;Pagano, G.;Loreti, S.;Fazio, A.;Dodaro, A.;De Felice, P.;Cherubini, N.;Capone, M.;Angelone, M.;Quintieri, L.;Pietropaolo, A.;Capogni, M.
2018

Abstract

Background: the gamma-emitting radionuclide Technetium-99m (99mTc) is still the workhorse of Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) as it is used worldwide for the diagnosis of a variety of phatological conditions.99mTc is obtained from99Mo/99mTc generators as pertechnetate ion, which is the ubiquitous starting material for the preparation of 99mTc radiopharmaceuticals.99Mo in such generators is currently produced in nuclear fission reactors as a by-product of235U fission. Here we investigated an alternative route for the production of99Mo by irradiating a natural metallic molybdenum powder using a 14-MeV accelerator-driven neutron source. Methods: after irradiation, an efficient isolation and purification of the final99mTc-pertechnetate was carried out by means of solvent extraction. Monte Carlo simulations allowed reliable predictions of99Mo production rates for a newly designed 14-MeV neutron source (New Sorgentina Fusion Source). Results: in traceable metrological conditions, a level of radionuclidic purity consistent with accepted pharmaceutical quality standards, was achieved. Conclusions: we showed that this source, featuring a nominal neutron emission rate of about 1015 s− 1, may potentially supply an appreciable fraction of the current99Mo global demand. This study highlights that a robust and viable solution, alternative to nuclear fission reactors, can be accomplished to secure the long-term supply of99Mo. © 2018 by the authors.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12079/1892
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