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Medical, Industrial, and Research Isotopes

The Medical, Industrial, and Research Isotopes Group (MIRIG) is involved in production, purification, and dispensing of radioisotopes. We provide unique radioisotopes to support sponsor missions within the Department of Energy, the Department of Homeland Security, and other government and private agencies and organizations.

Isotope Production, Research, and Development

The MIRIG engages in the production of targets for irradiation in the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR); development and implementation of processes for the recovery of unique and valuable isotopes; development and production of unique radioisotopes for research and medical applications; and management of a portion of ORNL’s inventory of high purity actinides.

Key areas include:

  • actinide research, including recovery and use of berkelium-249, curium-248, and decay-enriched californium-251 in a variety of research applications such as super-heavy element discovery
  • selenium-75 production for use as a gamma source in industrial radiography
  • nickel-63 production for use in the detection of explosives or hazardous chemicals and vapors
  • californium-252 production for industrial and research applications. ORNL supplies the majority of the work demand for this intense neutron emitter
  • modeling and simulation for isotope production, including optimization of material usage, sensitivity and uncertainty quantification, and nuclear data investigations
  • medical isotopes production and research
    • recovery and dispensing of high purity actinium-225 from the decay of thorium-229 to medical facilities around the world for the treatment of cancer
    • production and dispensing high purity thorium-227 and radium-223 for medical research and cancer treatment applications