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Nuclear and Radiochemistry

The Nuclear & Radiochemistry (NR) Group performs R&D and supplies medical and industrial isotopes to support missions within the Department of Energy, private agencies, and organizations.  The NR Group 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 sources and source materials for research applications and conducts R&D on a variety of radiochemistry related topics. 


The Nuclear and Radiochemistry Group has several key focus areas:

  • Recovery and chemical purification of radium from legacy sources for the production of medically important isotopes
  • Production, recovery, and dispensing of actinium-227 for the generation of high purity thorium-227 and radium-223 for medical research and cancer treatment applications
  • Production experiments of strontium-89 to demonstrate the feasibility of full-scale production capabilities at ORNL (Sr-89 is used in pain palliation in bone cancer patients)
  • Separations research on the recovery and purification of Ac-225 from accelerator targets to increase the supply of this unique radioisotope for broader application in the treatment of cancer. 
  • R&D on direct and Indirect production of Lu-177
  • Production of Radium-224 generators for Targeted Alpha Therapy research applications


NRG, Summer 2017