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Members are devoted to applying nuclear science and engineering technologies involving isotopes, radiation applications, and associated equipment in scientific research, development, and industrial processes. Their interests lie primarily in education, industrial uses, biology, medicine, and health physics. Division committees include Analytical Applications of Isotopes and Radiation, Biology and Medicine, Radiation Applications, Radiation Sources and Detection, and Thermal Power Sources.
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Fusion Science and Technology
Researchers report fastest purification of astatine-211 needed for targeted cancer therapy
Astatine-211 recovery from bismuth metal using a chromatography system. Unlike bismuth, astatine-211 forms chemical bonds with ketones.
In a recent study, Texas A&M University researchers have described a new process to purify astatine-211, a promising radioactive isotope for targeted cancer treatment. Unlike other elaborate purification methods, their technique can extract astatine-211 from bismuth in minutes rather than hours, which can greatly reduce the time between production and delivery to the patient.
“Astatine-211 is currently under evaluation as a cancer therapeutic in clinical trials. But the problem is that the supply chain for this element is very limited because only a few places worldwide can make it,” said Jonathan Burns, research scientist in the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station’s Nuclear Engineering and Science Center. “Texas A&M University is one of a handful of places in the world that can make astatine-211, and we have delineated a rapid astatine-211 separation process that increases the usable quantity of this isotope for research and therapeutic purposes.”
The researchers added that this separation method will bring Texas A&M one step closer to being able to provide astatine-211 for distribution through the Department of Energy’s Isotope Program’s National Isotope Development Center as part of the University Isotope Network.
Details on the chemical reaction to purify astatine-211 are in the journal Separation and Purification Technology.
L. El-Guebaly, P. Wilson, D. Paige, ARIES Team, Z-Pinch Team
Fusion Science and Technology | Volume 49 | Number 1 | January 2006 | Pages 62-73
Technical Paper | dx.doi.org/10.13182/FST06-2
Articles are hosted by Taylor and Francis Online.
The issue of radioactive waste management presents a top challenge for the nuclear industry. As an alternative to recycling or disposal in repositories, many countries are proceeding successfully with the process of developing clearance guidelines that allow solids and building rubble containing traces of radioisotopes to be cleared from regulatory control and unconditionally released to the commercial market after a specific storage period. With the emergence of new clearance standards, we took the initiative to compare U.S. to European and other international limits. This exercise is proving valuable in understanding the differences between the clearance standards and their implications for the radwaste management of fusion power plants. While clearance standards now exist for most radionuclides that are mainly important to the fission industry, no such standards are in place for many radionuclides of interest to fusion facilities. Before fusion penetrates the energy market, fusion-specific standards should be developed to address the safe release of fusion materials with trace levels of radioactive contamination.