Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry

, Volume 317, Issue 2, pp 891–896 | Cite as

Production potential of medical isotopes from natural uranium fission processes

  • Momina Butt
  • Chary RangacharyuluEmail author
  • Dave Chorney
  • Jeff Zimmer


We present the results of gamma ray yield measurements from the neutron induced fission of natural uranium at a low power research reactor. Our focus is on the quantitative yields of radio activities produced from 99Mo, 132I, 133I and 135Xe. These isotopes are good candidates for applications in medicine. We estimate the saturation activities and likely yields at typical neutrons fluxes of 1013 n/cm2/s and conclude that natural uranium, in conjunction with neutron beam facilities, offer viable production venues.


Medical isotopes 99Mo, 132I, 133I and 135Xe Gamma ray emitters Natural U2O3 Reactor neutrons Production rates 



This work was supported in part by a NSERC discovery grant to Rangacharyulu. We would like to thank the anonymous reviewers of this manuscript for their comments and suggestions, which helped us improve the paper.


  1. 1.
    Rangacharyulu C, Roh CK, Veerapaspong T, Phonapha S (2013) Production of Moly-99 at low power nuclear research reactors. In: IEEE conference proceedings, Seoul.
  2. 2.
    Rangacharyulu C, Fukuda M, Kanda H, Nishizaki S, Takahashi N (2017) Assessment of 43,44Sc isotope production in proton- and alpha induced reactions. J Radioanal Nucl Chem. CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Vogt R, Randrup J (2013) Nuclear fission in 100 years of subatomic physics, Eds: Ernest Henley and Stephen Ellis. World Scientific Publishing, SingaporeGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Oi N, Nagao H (1967) Production of fission product xenon. J Nucl Sci Technol 4:254–257CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
  6. 6.
  7. 7.
    See for example, National Research Council (US) Committee on Medial Isotope Production Without Highly Enriched Uranium. Washington (DC), National Academies Press (US) 2009. Visit:
  8. 8.
    Ganapathy R, Ihochi H (1966) Yields of molydenum isotopes in the fission of 232Th and 238U by 14.8 MeV neutrons. J Inorg Nucl Chem 26:3071–3073CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Broden K, Skanemark G, Bjornstad T, Eriksen D, Haldorsen I, Kaffrell N, Stender E, Trautman N (1981) Rapid continuous separation procedures for zirconium, niobium, technetium, bromine and iodine from complex reaction product mixtures. J Inorg Nucl Chem 43:765–771CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhysicsUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  2. 2.Analytical LaboratoriesSaskatchewan Research CouncilSaskatoonCanada

Personalised recommendations