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Energy-Recovery Linacs for Commercial Radioisotope Production

Award Information
Agency: Department of Energy
Branch: N/A
Contract: DE-SC0013123
Agency Tracking Number: 215775
Amount: $150,000.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: STTR
Solicitation Topic Code: 26a
Solicitation Number: DE-FOA-0001164
Timeline
Solicitation Year: 2015
Award Year: 2015
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2015-02-17
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2015-11-16
Small Business Information
45 Jonquil Lane
Newport News, VA 23606-0000
United States
DUNS: 969164412
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Rolland Johnson
 Dr.
 (757) 870-6943
 rol@muonsinc.com
Business Contact
 Thomas Roberts
Title: Dr.
Email: tjrob@muonsinc.com
Research Institution
 Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator
 
12000 Jefferson Ave
Newport News, VA 23606
United States

 () -
 Federally Funded R&D Center (FFRDC)
Abstract

Most radioisotopes are produced by nuclear reactors or positive ion accelerators, which are expensive to construct and to operate. Photonuclear reactions using bremsstrahlung photon beams from less-expensive electron linacs can generate isotopes of critical interest, but much of the beam energy in a conventional electron linac is dumped, making unwanted radioactivation.

GENERAL STATEMENT OF HOW THIS PROBLEM OR SITUATION IS BEING ADDRESSED.
A Superconducting Radio Frequency (SRF) Energy Recovery Linac (ERL) is a path to a more diverse and reliable domestic supply of short-lived, high-value, high-demand isotopes at a cost lower than that of isotopes produced by reactors or positive-ion accelerators. A Jefferson Lab approach to this problem involves a thin photon production target, which allows the electron beam to recirculate through rf cavities so the beam energy can be recovered while the spent electrons are extracted and absorbed at a low enough energy to minimize unwanted radioactivation. MuPlus, in partnership with Jefferson Lab and Niowave, proposes to extend this ERL technology to the commercial world of radioisotope production for medical diagnostics and therapy.

WHAT WILL BE DONE IN PHASE I.
MuPlus will use our own codes, MuSim for MCNP6 and G4beamline for GEANT4, and others to optimize beam parameters of an ERL-based radioisotope production facility. Components include the radiator with photon and electron beam parameters, absorbers for scattered electrons, target cooling, beam-radiator interactions, radiator optimization, thermal distributions and power handling, management of energy spread and angular acceptance for the recirculation arc, and optimization of isotope production versus energy recovery requirements. Particular isotopes to be first examples of this new technology will be chosen based on market analysis for an engineering design to be done in Phase II.

COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS AND OTHER BENEFITS
ERLs are increasingly the technology of choice for highly demanding applications. In energy recovery, more than 90% of the beam power is recycled and not deposited in a beam dump. Our first application will be for nuclear medicine, which has humanitarian and commercial benefits. Of the 30 million people who are hospitalized each year in the United States, a third are treated with nuclear medicine. More than
10 million nuclear-medicine procedures are performed on patients and more than 100 million nuclear-
medicine tests are performed each year in the United States alone. There are nearly one hundred radioisotopes whose beta and/or gamma radiation is used in diagnosis, therapy, or investigations in nuclear medicine. We are interested in the commonly used isotopes as well as developing techniques for isotopes for new applications, both medical and industrial.
KEY WORDS: energy-recovery, superconducting RF, linac, commercial, radioisotope, production

SUMMARY FOR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS:
An energy recovery technique for superconducting linear accelerators developed at Jefferson Lab is being applied to the production of radioisotopes used for medical diagnostics and therapy. This Energy Recovery Linac will reduce operating costs for isotope production facilities by being more efficient and by producing fewer unwanted radiation byproducts.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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