Sep 26 – 27, 2022
Europe/Madrid timezone

Perspectives for radioisotope production at DONES

Sep 27, 2022, 9:20 AM


Javier Praena (UGR)


The International Fusion Materials Irradiation Facility - Demo Oriented NEutron Source (IFMIF-DONES) is a single-sited novel Research Infrastructure for testing, validation and qualification of the materials to be used in a fusion reactor. IFMIF-DONES was declared ESFRI facility (European Strategy Forum on Research Infrastructures) and its European host city would be Granada (Spain) [1]. IFMIF-DONES will be based on the neutron production by means of high current 40 MeV deuteron beam impacting on a Lithium jet target. The neutrons produced will be similar to the neutrons in the future DEMO fusion reactor [2].
In spite the first and most important application of IFMIF-DONES related to characterization of materials for fusion technology, the unprecedented neutron flux available could be exploited without modifying the routine operation of DONES. Thus, it is already planned an experimental hall for other applications. This experimental hall will be connected to the Test Cell by a collimator at present under designed. The Test Cell is the bunker where the materials for fusion will be irradiated, thus, the area with the highest neutron flux.
Possible outstanding results could led to a modification of the Test Cell or a new deuteron line. One of these applications is the production of radioisotopes for nuclear medicine. IFMIF-DONES could be a facility delivering important quantities of medical radioisotopes taken advantage of the high neutron flux at the Test Cell [2] or a new deuteron line. This could help IFMIF-DONES to be more sustainable facility [3].
In this work, we will present the first results of the production of 99Mo/99Tc and 177Lu at IFMIF-DONES with realistic samples of MoO3 and 176Yb2O3 as the one used at present in nuclear reactors. In case of 177Lu, the production by deuteron irradiation on176Yb2O3 lead to the same products that the neutron capture on 176Yb which is the most desirable route. In case of 99Mo/99Tc the production is also comparable with the production in medium reactors.
99Mo/99Tc is the most used radioisotope in nuclear medicine. Hospitals have suffered several problems of 99Mo/99Tc supply due to stops in the few nuclear reactors where is produced worldwide. The last one in Spain occurred in March 2022. 177Lu is the radioisotope with the highest growth due to its outstanding properties for diagnosis and therapy of several tumors. 177Lu could be produced in significant quantities at IFMIF-DONES as complementary production to reactors. This is an important objective of the nuclear facilities with direct application to the society. In addition, the nuclear medicine radioisotope market reached 10 billion€ in 2017 and it is expected to grow 12.3% until to 2023 whereas periods of shortage on the production are foreseen [4]. Facilities as ISOLDE-CERN are already supplying them for hospitals. New accelerator-based neutron facilities could also take advantage of this application.

[2] W. Królas et al., The IFMIF-DONES fusion oriented neutron source : evolution of the design, Nucl. Fusion (2021)
[3] J. Praena et al., Radioisotope production at the IFMIF-DONES facility. EPJ Web of Conferences 239, 23001 (2020). Invited Talk ND2019 Beijin (China).

Presentation materials