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Californium Electrodepositions at Oak Ridge National Laboratory...

Publication Type
Conference Paper
Journal Name
Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry
Publication Date
Page Numbers
921 to 026
Conference Name
International Nuclear Target Development Society (INTDS) 2014
Conference Location
Tokyo, Japan
Conference Sponsor
Conference Date

Electrodepositions of californium isotopes were successfully performed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) during the past year involving two different types of deposition solutions, ammonium acetate (NH4C2H3O2) and isobutanol ((CH3)2CHCH2OH). A californium product that was decay enriched in 251Cf was recovered for use in super-heavy element (SHE) research. This neutron-rich isotope, 251Cf, provides target material for SHE research for the potential discovery of heavier isotopes of Z=118. The californium material was recovered from aged 252Cf neutron sources in storage at ORNL. These sources have decayed for over 30 years, thus providing material with a very high 251Cf-to-252Cf ratio. After the source capsules were opened, the californium was purified and then electrodeposited using the isobutanol method onto thin titanium foils for use in an accelerator at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna, Russia. Another deposition method, ammonium acetate, was used to produce a deposition containing 1.7±0.1 Ci of 252Cf onto a stainless steel substrate. This was the largest single electrodeposition of 252Cf ever prepared. The 252Cf material was initially purified using traditional ion exchange media, such as AG50-AHIB and AG50-HCl, and further purified using a TEVA-NH4SCN system to remove any lanthanides, resulting in the recovery of 3.6±0.1 mg of purified 252Cf. The ammonium acetate deposition was run with a current of 1.0 amp, resulting in a 91.5% deposition yield. Purification and handling of the highly radioactive californium material created additional challenges in the production of these sources.