Novel 125 I production and recovery system



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This research suggests ways of reducing contamination of iodine-126 in iodine-125 and lays out a simpler iodine-125 production technique to increase the yield. By using aluminum irradiation vessels the yield of iodine-125 produced by neutron irradiation of Xe-124 can be doubled compared to using stainless steel vessels. Because of increased yields irradiation times are shorter, the chance of I-126 contamination is reduced. Solidified iodine within the aluminum vessels can be extracted using 0.1 N sodium hydroxide solution, however the solution also reacts with the vessel walls. These impurities in the extracted solution are then removed by distillation that concentrates and purifies the extracted solution. High recovery, ranging from 88 to 96 percent, was typical for the experiments described. Gamma spectroscopic results suggest that the distillate is free from any impurities such as aluminum or sodium ions. Distillation can reduce the extracted solution to at least one third or less of its original volume. The work described here provides the basis for I-125 production at the Texas A&M Nuclear Science Center.