Neutronic simulation of medical radioisotope 99Mo and 177Lu production in IPR 14 MeV neutron generator facility

H. L. Swami, A. Saxena, S. Vala, M. Abhangi, Ratnesh Kumar, Rajesh Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


An accelerator based 14 MeV neutron generator is commissioned at Institute for Plasma Research India. The generator is based on the linear accelerator concept where the deuterium ion beam impinged to the tritium target to produce neutrons. The generator is designed to produce 1 × 1012 neutrons per sec. The 14 MeV neutron source facilities are an emerging tool for the lab scale experiments and research. In order to utilize the generator for the welfare of humanity, the assessment is made for the production of medical radioisotopes using the neutron facility. The usage of radioisotopes in the treatment and diagnosis of a disease is an important factor in the healthcare sector. A series of calculations are conducted to generate radioisotopes, especially 99Mo and 177Lu those are having huge applications in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. 99Mo can be also generated through neutron reactions 98Mo(n, g)99Mo and 100Mo(n, 2n)99Mo apart from fission reaction. The cross section of 98Mo(n, g)99Mo is high in the thermal energy range whereas 100Mo(n,2n)99Mo occurs at a high energy range. 177Lu can be produced using the reactions 176Lu (n, g)177Lu and 176Yb (n, g)177Yb. The cross section of both 177Lu production routes is higher at thermal energy range. The neutron flux level near the target is around 1010 cm−2s−1. In order to enhance production capabilities, the neutron energy spectrum moderators are used to thermalize the neutrons. The materials used as a moderator are beryllium, HDPE, graphite, etc. Moderators enhance the capabilities of medical isotope production in neutron generators.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110743
JournalApplied Radiation and Isotopes
StatePublished - May 2023
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

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  • Lutetium-177
  • MCNP
  • Molybdenum-99
  • Neutron generator
  • Radioisotopes


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