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Fast-neutron radiating device

Bersagli D-TD-T targetsFast neutronsMedicina nucleareMolibdeno-99Molybdenum-99Neutroni velociNuclear medicineRadioisotopi breve emivitaShort-lived radionuclides


Fast neutron flux irradiation device to produce radioactive isotopes, such as Tc-99m, for medical use, made by a Deuterium-Tritium (DT) target capable of producing 14 MeV neutrons and by a sample holder arranged around the target in order to intercept the maximum neutron fraction optimizing the activity of the radioisotope produced.

Technical features

Radioisotopes with a short half-life are used in nuclear medicine combined with vectors of a biological nature to be injected, as radiopharmaceuticals, into patients to perform diagnosis and/or therapy in the fight against tumors. Among these radioisotopes, Technetium-99_metastable, particularly used for tomographic diagnosis (SPECT), plays a particular role. Technetium is made available in hospitals by means of 99Mo / 99mTc generators, where Molybdenum-99 (99Mo) is the precursor from which metastable Technetium is obtained by decay.

ENEA investigated an alternative route to the production of Technetium from nuclear reactors by studying the 100Mo (n, 2n) 99Mo reaction in which 99Mo was produced from 100Mo with neutrons at 14 MeV, obtained from Deuterium (D ) – Tritium (T).

In particular, the innovation of the patent consists in realizing a sample-target suitable for intercepting the largest fraction of neutrons produced and effectively, without being degraded in energy and attenuated in intensity, taking into account the physicalgeometric properties of the distribution in the space of the same neutrons.

Possible Applications

  • Material science;
  • Production of radioisotopes for the industry and medical uses;
  • Metrology of radionuclides, basic and/or applied science experiments in the field of Physics;
  • Nuclear Engineering for Nuclear Fusion and Fission in which high neutron fluxes and high DPA are required.


  • Sample-target placed in the half-space of the primary beam;
  • Sample-target with concave surfaces and turned towards the active surface where fast neutrons are generated;
  • Coaxial positioning of the target-samples at 180 ° with respect to the active surface;
  • Maximum neutrons interception.