Method of producing artificial nickel-63 isotope

FIELD: chemistry.

SUBSTANCE: in the disclosed method, target material containing a starting nickel-62 isotope, is given the shape and function of a structural component of a nuclear reactor core and then loaded for irradiation in place of said element. After achieving a given degree of irradiation, the material is unloaded and initial and newly formed nickel isotopes are extracted during chemical treatment.

EFFECT: improved utilisation of neutrons without affecting the reactivity margin of the nuclear reactor.

4 cl

 

The invention relates to the nuclear industry, namely to technology of production of radioactive isotope Nickel-63.

Artificial isotopes will receive:

- the spin-out of fission fragments in the processing of spent nuclear fuel;

- irradiation of the starting isotopes ions in accelerators;

- irradiation of the starting isotopes with neutrons in a nuclear reactor.

The radioactive isotope Nickel-63 is a pure beta emitter of electrons with an average energy of 18 Kev and a half life of 100 years, a promising raw material for the manufacture of nuclear batteries with a service life of 50 years or more - can be obtained in appreciable quantities only by irradiation of the starting isotope Nickel-62 in the neutron flux of a nuclear reactor.

A method of producing a Nickel-63 is a traditional method for most "reactor" isotopes (A. S. Gerasimov, T. S. Zaritskaya, A. P. Rudik. Handbook on the formation of nuclides in nuclear reactors. M.: Energoatomizdat, 1989) Source material (target), containing the starting isotope, in the form of powder, tablet, solution or sometimes even gas, placed in a sealed, corrosion-resistant shell (the so-called isotope unit) and loaded into a special, free from nuclear fuel irradiation (isotope) channels located in the Central and/or peripheral parts of the active zone of the nuclear re�ctor.

The number of irradiation channels, and hence isotopic blocks is limited, since they adversely affect the reactivity margin of a nuclear reactor, i.e. the ability of the implementation chain reaction. To increase load starting of the isotope in the isotope channels often useless due to the growth of the self-locking of neutron absorption, which leads to wasted raw materials. In addition to the above, another disadvantage of using a dedicated isotope channels is the low utilization factor of the neutron. Each beneficial absorption of a neutron starting isotope necessarily accompanies harmful absorption of neutrons in the material of the shell and structural materials selected cell (channel, pipe, coolant, moderator, etc.).

The disadvantages of the traditional way of operating time of the reactor isotopes are fully applicable to a known method for the production of Nickel-63 with such features that the target uses very expensive Nickel-enriched starting isotope Nickel-62 to almost the highest possible level of more than 98%, and the irradiation of the target occurs in the reactor with high neutron flux and a-priory small irradiation volume. Really Nickel-63 in gram quantities produces only RIAR in �. Dimitrovgrad.

At the present time manifested an urgent need to expand the scope of Nickel-63 and to create on its basis a commercial beta-voltaic atomic battery - miniature fully secure an independent source of electrical energy with a lifespan of several decades. Such a source of needed medicine, Microsystems technology, aerospace and other industries. For these purposes should be organized large-scale production of artificial isotope Nickel-63. So, the annual production of 100 thousand miniature batteries for pacemakers (1 gram of Nickel-63 in the battery, about 0.2 CC) requires an annual operating time of approximately 120 kilograms of the isotope. The same amount of production of batteries for mobile communication (12...17 g product) involves the mean time 1.5-2 tons.

Estimates show that to produce 1 kg per year of Nickel-63 should be irradiated with 45 kg of Nickel-62 in the neutron flux of 5*1013cm-2with-1or 23 kg in the stream 1014. The need to irradiate as much of the start of the isotope will require the allocation of such amount isotopic channels, which violates the Prime target activity of a nuclear reactor.

The claimed solution aimed at eliminating the above drawbacks of the traditional way of operating time Nickel-63, taken as a prototype, and is intended to make the who�one large-scale operation of the target isotope Nickel-63, at the same time increase the efficiency of neutron nuclear reactor and to reduce the expenses associated with the implementation of the process of developments.

This object is achieved in that the target material containing the starting isotope Nickel-62, shape and function, not in contact with the fissile substance element design of the active zone of the nuclear reactor, download for irradiation instead of this element, after reaching a predetermined degree of irradiation is discharged and in the process separate from the spent fuel of generatenode distinguish the original and the newly formed isotopes of Nickel.

The target material may be Nickel metal, Nickel alloys, Nickel-containing stainless steel and the like are suitable in each specific case of Nickel-containing materials.

Unlike the prototype in the proposed method there is no need to use expensive Nickel, almost entirely consists of the start of the isotope Nickel-62. At the same time to use cheap Nickel natural Nickel-62 (3,65%) does not follow, as in this case, for each neutron absorbed 62nd isotope will have 8 useless captured the other isotopes and for production of 1 kg of Nickel-63 is required to irradiate ~1200 kg of natural Nickel, which is not technically acceptable. From conditions to�of compromised between the weight of the load, the cost of enrichment and neutron absorption characteristics influencing responsiveness, optimum use in the composition of the target material Nickel-enriched Ni-62 to the level of (80±10)%, and the remaining 20% are isotopes of Nickel 61, Nickel-60, starting isotopes to fill burnable Nickel-62. In this case, 100 of absorbed Nickel-62 neutrons have only captured 4 other isotopes, not useless, given the cyclical use of enriched Nickel. For producing 1 kg/yr of Nickel-63 will need to download ~55 kg of Nickel and 80% Ni-62 (stream 5*1013cm-2with-1). Compared with the prior art, the replacement of 98 percent Nickel-62 80-percent significantly reduces the cost of its production.

Replaceable components of the active zone can be of the process pipe or shell tapes, structural details of control systems, control and emergency protection, and any other parts not in contact with the fissile substance, i.e. not subjected to implantation of fission fragments. Such elements abound in each reactor with a heterogeneous active area: research, industrial, energy. Any of them is a potential sarabottom, as a large half-life allows you to lead a life of Nickel-63 in the flow Teplov�x neutrons of any intensity, it only changes the settable exposure time. Characteristic for these types of reactors the magnitude of the neutron flux in the range (2*1013-1*1014) cm-2with-1perfect for getting the target isotope in a reasonable time.

The effect of element substitution on the reactivity margin individually in each case. If this alternative is selected isotope channels - the benefit is obvious, there is no above-mentioned concomitant harmful absorption of neutrons. If you replaced the steel detail - the impact can be very small (macroscopic absorption cross section of 0.25 cm-1and 1.0 cm-1respectively), and the useless loss of neutrons in ordinary steel is transformed in the mean time not cheap useful product. A more careful approach is required when replacing parts made from aluminum, in this case, the best could be the use of composite material.

The proposed method of producing Nickel-63 provides the most efficient use of reactor neutrons. It will not cause any collateral damage, except for minimal insurmountable absorption in the target material. Intended to replace the elements of the active zone, as a rule, thin-walled, so that the question of hold-absorption becomes irrelevant.

The method enables the loaded�ü in nuclear reactors more initial targets for large scale production of Nickel-63, without prejudice to the primary activity of the reactor to leave the tee on long-term operation (being in the active zone) and replace them with routine maintenance or scheduled reboot.

1. A method of producing an artificial isotope Nickel-63, including irradiation in the neutron flux of a nuclear reactor of the target that contains the starting isotope Nickel-62, characterized in that the target material containing the starting isotope Nickel-62, shape and function, not in contact with the fissile substance element design of the active zone of the nuclear reactor, download for irradiation instead of this element, after reaching a predetermined degree of irradiation is discharged and in the process separate from the spent fuel of generatenode distinguish the original and the newly formed isotopes of Nickel.

2. A method according to claim 1, characterized in that the target material used Nickel metal or Nickel-containing alloys, steels, composites.

3. A method according to claims.1 and 2, characterized in that the starting isotope Nickel-62 is used in the form of Nickel-enriched isotope Nickel-62 to the level of (80±10)%, the rest - preferably isotopes Nickel-61 and Nickel-60.

4. A method according to claim 1, wherein the irradiation of the targets perform in any research, energy, industrial and nuclear reactor, thermal neutron flux in the active zones� which exceeds the level of 10 13cm-2with-1.



 

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