Production of Medical Isotopes At Hanford

Robot manipulator holding a vial of Yttrium-90 in a hot cell.

The DOE Hanford site is located on 560 square miles in the southeastern corner of Washington near the city of Richland. The full capabilities of the site are available to provide isotope products and services to government and commercial entities around the world and they include: processing and purification of radioactive and nonradioactive targets; pelletizing and forming; machining, welding, assembly; and target encapsulation and irradiation.

Hanford's inventory of long lived isotopes, such as cesium-137 and strontium-90, represents one of the world's only bulk sources of these materials. Capabilities at Hanford have recently been expanded to include production of cesium-137 capsules and weekly, multi-curie production of high quality yttrium-90, a daughter of strontium-90.


Hanford Medical Isotopes List

Beta Emitters
Sr-90
Strontium-90 is a fission product recovered from fuel reprocessing waste. It is converted to strontium fluoride, encapsulated and stored. Sr-90 is a beta emitter with an endpoint energy of 546 keV and a half-life of 29.1 years.

Y-90
Yttrium-90 is a fission product daughter (Sr-90 parent). It is extracted into di-(2-ethlhexyl) phosphoric acid, stripped with nitric acid and purified. Y-90 is a beta emitter with an endpoint energy of 2.28 MeV and a half-life of 2.67 days.

Cs-137
Cesium-137 is a fission product recovered from fuel reprocessing waste. Its processing includes dissolution, filtration to remove insolubles, and drying. Cs-137 is a beta and a gamma emitter with a beta endpoint energy of 514 keV and a gamma energy of 661.7 keV. Its half-life is 30.17 years.


Alpha Emitters

Th-229
Thorium-229 is separated and purified from various DOE source materials. It is used primarily for the production of its daughters, Ra-225, Ac-225 and subsequently Bi-213.

Ac-227
Actinium-227 is also separated and purified from existing DOE source material. It is used primarily for the production of its daughter, Ra-223.

Bi-213
Bismuth-213 is produced by "milking" Th-229. It is the Bi-213 isotope that is currently being studied for cancer treatment.

Ra-223
Radium-223 is the daughter of Ac-227. It is also undergoing study as an alpha emitter for radiation therapy.

Hotcell Used for Isotope Production at Hanford.


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