Computational Evaluation of LEU Conversion for Production of Tc-99m. [abstract]
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The imaging radioisotope Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) is currently being used about 10,000 times daily in the United States. There are no facilities in the U.S. capable of producing Tc-99m, rather the parent nuclide Molybdenum-99 must be imported from Canada. Feasibility studies are being performed to determine the capabilities to irradiate and process a low enriched uranium (LEU) target using existing Missouri University Research Reactor (MURR) facilities. Computational analysis of this new process at the MURR included the use of ORIGEN to estimate the production of both Mo-99 and the many other isotopes that are produced in the fission process. The data from ORIGEN was analyzed to predict shielding requirements using the Health Physics Companion code package. Additional work was done to automate the analysis of ORIGEN output using C++ to facilitate easy use for further studies. Calculated total dose rates are about 0.08 and 0.002 Rem/hr at 1cm and 1m respectively. This analysis suggests that the projected 5.25” of lead plus 0.75” of tungsten should provide sufficient shielding.