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.
|Titolo:||14 MeV neutrons for99Mo/99mTc production: Experiments, simulations and perspectives|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1 Articolo in rivista|