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Embedded D-3He Fusion Reactions and Medical Isotope Production in an Inertial Electrostatic Confinement Device

B. B. Cipiti, G. L. Kulcinski

Fusion Science and Technology

Volume 44 / Number 2 / September 2003 / Pages 534-538


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The high-energy 14.7 MeV protons generated from the D-3He fusion reaction can be used to produce medical radioisotopes. Steady-state D-3He operation is possible using Inertial Electrostatic Confinement (IEC); however, the location of the reactions must be known to use them effectively for isotope production. In the University of Wisconsin IEC Device, it has been found that as much as 2/3 of the total D-3He reaction rate can be due to embedded fusion reactions, reactions occurring within the cathode due to ion implantation. Therefore, the cathode surface sees a large, high-energy proton flux. Using a solid molybdenum cathode, and taking advantage of the embedded reactions, about 1 nCi of the medical isotope 94mTc was created via 94Mo(p,n)94mTc in a proof of principle experiment. This represents the first time the IEC concept has been used to produce a radioisotope using D-3He fusion.

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