Method for producing nickel-63 radionuclide

FIELD: production of radioactive isotopes.

SUBSTANCE: proposed method for producing nickel-63 radioactive isotope from target within reactor includes production of nickel-62 enriched nickel target, irradiation of the latter in reactor, and enrichment of irradiated product with nickel-63, nickel-64 content in nickel-62 enriched target being not over 2%; in the course of product enrichment with nickel-63 nickel-64 isotope is extracted from irradiated product.

EFFECT: enlarged scale of production.

1 cl, 2 tbl

 

The invention relates to the field of production of radioactive isotopes, and more specifically to a technology for production of radioactive isotopes in the reactor from the target, pre-enriched need a stable isotope. Radioactive isotopes are used in various fields. In particular, the isotope Nickel-63 is used as a radiation source in chambers on the detection of explosives.

Isotopes of an element is defined by the mass of available stable isotopes and their contents in the natural mixture. The mass of the isotopes is measured in atomic mass units [Amu]. A Nickel there are five stable (non-radioactive) isotope and the table below shows their natural prevalence (Ipeline. "Isotopes". The Handbook. M.: Nauka, 1970).

Table 1
Isotope5860616264
%68,0726,221,143,630,93

When placing a Nickel in a nuclear reactor, the neutrons interact with the isotopes of Nickel, and Nickel-62 is formed of radioactive Nickel-63. However, small natural Nickel-62 is not possible to achieve high specific activity of Nickel-63.

the La increase output using the target enriched need initial stable isotope. The known process of obtaining isotopes of Nickel, which is used as a target Nickel-rich Nickel-62 (Assersion, Tsaritsa, Aphrodi. Reference education nuclides in nuclear reactors. M, Energoatomizdat, 1989) Development of centrifugal technology for isotopes of Nickel allows you to get the isotopes of Nickel in sufficient quantities. (L.J.Sosnin, I.A.Suvorov, A.N.Tcheltsov, A.I.Rudnev. Investigation of centrifuge enrichment of stable nickel isotopes. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, 1993, v.A334, p.41-42.)

Known and used process gas centrifugation on an industrial scale was developed for the separation of isotopes of uranium (see, for example, "uranium Enrichment", as amended Spillane. M.: Energoatomizdat, 1983). To effect the separation of volatile connection element serves in a rapidly rotating rotor and heavier molecules containing the heavier isotopes are concentrated in the periphery, resulting in the separation effect (see, for example, Chemla, Jpare "isotope Separation), Atomizdat, 1980). To achieve the effect of separation in the gas phase using special high-speed centrifuge, whose speed many times greater than the other counterparts.

In addition to the separation of isotopes of uranium, centrifugal technology developed in the Annex to the division of the article is stable isotopes of other chemical elements - iron, tungsten, xenon, sulfur, molybdenum and others ("Nuclear energy", volume 67, No. 4, Oct, str). The main condition of applicability of the method is the element of volatile chemical compounds with a sufficient vapor pressure. For the separation of isotopes of Nickel use tetrofosmin Nickel - Ni(PF3)4.

However, the application of even enriched target is not always possible to obtain a sufficient specific activity of the radioisotope in the source material. In the case of Nickel-63 this is caused by a not very high rate of accumulation, and burnout Nickel-63, as he when exposed to a neutron goes into a stable Nickel-64.

Operating in the country, centrifugal technologies to allow for enrichment and radioactive isotopes. The centrifugal method increased the specific activity of iron-55, tin-119m and other radioisotopes. The content of the radioisotope can be brought close to 100%, and this corresponds to the higher specific activity of radioactive material.

Known sequence of operations, including obtaining enriched target isotope source material irradiated in a reactor, the conversion of the volatile compound and subsequent enrichment radioisotope applied to Nickel-63 are listed in the "Obtaining63Ni high specific activity" (L.J.Sonin, I.A.Suvorov, A.N.Tcheltsov, B.I.Rogozev, V.I.Gudov. Production of63Ni of high specific activity. Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, 1993, v.A334, p.43-44.), which is selected as a prototype. Starting isotope Nickel-62 is enriched to a concentration of more than 99%, is placed in a high-flux reactor SM-2 (neutron flux of 1.75×1015n/cm2·sec). After accumulation of Nickel-63 is enrichment.

The disadvantage of the method of producing a radionuclide Nickel-63 prototype are the limiting characteristics of the two components - the degree of enrichment of the target and the neutron flux. These options allow you to get a unique product that economic indicators can not find wide application.

One of the applications of Nickel-63 can be used in self-contained source of electrical energy based on the beta voltaic effect. Beta voltaic effect is analogous to the photoelectric effect, with the difference that the formation of electron-hole pairs in a semiconductor with a p-n transition occurs under the action βparticles instead of light radiation. A radioactive isotope of Nickel-63 is clean βemitter (no associated harmful gamma radiation and has a half-life of 100 years. So this is one of the most promising radionuclide for sources of electrical energy with a lifetime of more than 30 years (ATO the different batteries).

For this application Nickel-63 should be made in sufficient quantities and at an acceptable cost. The high-flux reactor CM-2 used to not be, because the amount for the accommodation of small targets (several liters), and the value of the neutron flux is too high. Another disadvantage of the prototype is the high cost of enrichment of the target with 99% Nickel-62.

The problem to which this invention is directed is to provide opportunities for large-scale production of Nickel-63.

To solve this problem, a method for obtaining a radionuclide, Nickel-63, including the production of enriched Ni-62 Ni target, the irradiation target in the reactor and the subsequent enrichment of the irradiated product of Nickel-63, enriched in Nickel-62 Nickel target, the Nickel-64 does not exceed 2% and the enrichment of the product Nickel-63 isotope Nickel-64 is extracted from the irradiated product.

Large-scale production of Nickel-63 requires more available and cheaper components technology. For irradiation better not to use highly enriched (97-99%) Nickel-62 and Nickel medium enrichment 50-80%. The cost of such target Nickel with significant production is much lower. Irradiation of a large number of cheaper Nickel materials should produce the neutron flow medium level, 2÷5)×1013...2×1014. Such targets can be set for a long exposure in the uranium-graphite reactor (RBMK), industrial reactors, where the radiation is not so expensive as in a nuclear reactor of the type CM-2. This approach will allow to irradiate almost always a large number (hundreds of kg) Nickel targets without disrupting the planned modes of operation of nuclear reactors.

Reducing the requirements to the magnitude of the enrichment of Nickel-62 in the target product, however, should allow the implementation of post-process enrichment of Nickel-63 so that the content of Nickel-63 in the product became prevalent, i.e. at least 50%. The presence in the way of restrictions on the content of Nickel-64 in the target Nickel and Nickel recovery-64 from irradiated product during post-irradiation enrichment are just such conditions.

An example implementation of the method

Below table describes changes in the isotopic occurring at all stages of the process.

Nickel natural isotopic composition in the form of tetrofosmin Nickel - Ni(PF3)4(line 1) sent for isotopic enrichment. The enrichment process carried out so that the Nickel-64 was not more than 2% (line 2). This restriction allows for the enrichment of Nickel up to 50% or more, but the main isotopic impurity due is to be lighter, than Nickel-62 isotopes. Enriched in Nickel-62 tetrofosmin Nickel is transferred to the metal and sent for irradiation in the reactor. After 2 years of exposure in the reactor builds up 6.4% of Nickel-63, and Nickel-64 increases to 1.5% due to the burnout of Nickel-63 (line 3). Irradiated Nickel metal transferred to tetrofosmin Nickel and sent for enrichment. Enrichment of Nickel-63 is carried out in the heavy fraction, and Nickel-64 is extracted from the irradiated material (line 4). It is low maintenance Nickel-64 and allows you to achieve enrichment of Nickel-63 to 50% and more. Tetrofosmin Nickel is transferred to the metal mold and is used, for example, beta-voltaic power sources. In the remaining light fraction (line 5) contains a Nickel-62, the remains of Nickel-63 and no Nickel-64. This product can be re-directed back to the reactor for irradiation.

Table 2
ProductIsotopes of Nickel
58596061626364
1the original Nickel to the enrichment of Nickel-6268,07-26,221,143,63 -0,93
2the target obtained after enrichment and directed to irradiation0,1-10,09,979,0-1,0
3after 2 years of exposure0,0970,0029,8to 9.9372,36,41,5
4enrichment of Nickel-63 in heavy fraction0,474,924,7
5the remaining light fraction0.104 g0,00210,510,677,11,70,003

Receiving target Nickel with restriction on the content of the Nickel-64 allows a significant amount of the target product for large-scale production of Nickel-63, which can be used in stand-alone sources of electrical energy based on the beta voltaic effect, the detectors of explosives and other

The feasibility of technical solutions derived from the research and practice of various methods of isotope separation as uranium and stable isotopes (see, for example,a collection of Isotopes in the USSR", Moscow, Atomizdat, 1980). The reproducibility of the results is determined by highest achieved level of analysis, the isotopic composition of elements known methods of mass spectrometry.

A method of producing a radionuclide Nickel-63, including the production of enriched Ni-62 Ni target, the irradiation target in the reactor and the subsequent enrichment of the irradiated product of Nickel-63, characterized in that in-rich Ni-62 Ni target, the Nickel-64 does not exceed 2% and the enrichment of the product Nickel-63 isotope Nickel-64 is extracted from the irradiated product.



 

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