Energy Secretary breaks ground on new isotope facility at ORNL

U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm visited Oak Ridge National Laboratory to attend a groundbreaking ceremony for the U.S. Stable Isotope Research and Development Center. The facility is slated to receive $75 million in funding from the Inflation Reduction Act. The facility on ORNL’s main campus will produce stable isotopes on a large scale, meeting the nation’s increasing demands for isotopes needed in medicine, industry, science and national security.

Secretary Granholm Breaks Ground on Isotope Research Center to Advance Life-Saving Medical Applications and Strengthen America as a Global Scientific Leader

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), in coordination with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, today held a groundbreaking for the Stable Isotope Production and Research Center (SIPRC), which will expand the nation’s capability to enrich stable isotopes for medical, industrial, and research applications.

Fighting Cancer on Earth and in Space Using High-Energy Protons

Scientists use high-energy protons to create isotopes for cancer treatment. In space, such protons pose a risk to astronauts and spacecraft. To learn more about both the risks from these protons and about methods of using these protons to produce medical isotopes, scientists measured the cross sections (probabilities) for high-energy proton reactions used to produce radiopharmaceuticals. The research helps to optimize the quantity and purity of medical isotopes and improve the design of spacecraft shielding.

New model shows Earth’s deep mantle was drier from the start

By analyzing noble gas isotope data, a scientist determined that the ancient plume mantle had a water concentration that was a factor of 4 to 250 times lower when compared with the water concentration of the upper mantle. The resulting viscosity contrast could have prevented mixing within the mantle, helping to explain certain long-standing mysteries about Earth’s formation and evolution.

ORNL, partners launch first experiments using new facility to make cosmic isotopes on Earth

A new flagship facility for nuclear physics has opened, and scientists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory have a hand in 10 of its first 34 experiments.

ORNL meets key FDA milestone for cancer-fighting Ac-225 isotope

A rare isotope in high demand for treating cancer is now more available to pharmaceutical companies developing and testing new drugs. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recently received Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s drug master file for actinium-225 nitrate, which lets pharmaceutical companies reference the document to support applications for their own Ac-225-based drugs without disclosing proprietary information.

Do You Know the Way to Berkelium, Californium?

Scientists at Berkeley Lab have demonstrated how to image samples of heavy elements as small as a single nanogram. The new approach will help scientists advance new technologies for medical imaging and cancer therapies.

Isotope Discovery Continues: Mass Identification Confirms Production of a New Isotope of Mendelevium

Neighboring isotopes of the heaviest elements often have very similar properties. To differentiate these isotopes by their differing masses, scientists use a device called FIONA (For the Identification of Nuclide A) to measure the masses of heavy-element isotopes. For the first time, scientists have used FIONA to discover a new heavy-element isotope, mendelevium-244.

Blocking vibrations that remove heat could boost efficiency of next-gen solar cells

Led by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, a study of a solar-energy material with a bright future revealed a way to slow phonons, the waves that transport heat.

Atomic fingerprint identifies emission sources of uranium

Uranium is not always the same: depending on whether this chemical element is released by the civil nuclear industry or as fallout from nuclear weapon tests, the ratio of the two anthropogenic, i.e. man-made, uranium isotopes 233U and 236U varies. These results were lately found by an international team grouped around physicists from the University of Vienna and provides a promising new “fingerprint” for the identification of radioactive emission sources.