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Thread: Cyclotron cost and use for medical isotopes?

  1. #1 Cyclotron cost and use for medical isotopes? 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard icewendigo's Avatar
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    Can cyclotrons be used to produce medical isotopes?

    If so, does anyone know what type of cost range is required to build a cyclotron designed to produce medical isotopes?
    (less than a million [US$], several millions, tens of millions, hundreds of millions)

    And does operating a cyclotron to produce medical isotopes create radioactive waste or hazardeous by products in proportions comparable to a nuclear power plant?


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  3. #2  
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    I believe hospitals currently use cyclotrons to do exactly that.

    I do not think there is any waste, since it is simple particle creation.

    From what I've seen, I think it would cost around $10 million dollars to buy one.


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  4. #3  
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    I can give you the numbers of our cyclotron facility:

    $1.2M - IBA 18/9 with two 18F targets, one 18F2, one 11C-CO2, one 11C-CH4, one 13N-NH4+ one 15O-H2O, one HCN module, one H2O module.
    $400k - Comecer vault and door
    $100k - each of the Comecer MIP4 double hotcell for research
    Synthesis modules are priced between $60k and $150k.


    Some waste is generated, but because the beam energies is lower than those in a nuclear reactor, the half-life of the isotopes are in the orders of months and not hundreds of years. The absolute amount of those isotopes are usually (or after 3-6 months of decay) under the exemption limit set by the IAEA and they can be processed as regular waste.

    In my state and all the European sites I know of, a decommissioning plan is required before the construction permits are granted. The greatest problem comes from the by-products in the concrete for the vault and the external parts of the cyclotron.
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  5. #4  
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    1.8 million, that's a steal!

    Yea, I suppose the shielding would become irradiated to some extent. I was thinking more on the lines of isotopes that are injected into the body and decay there, like in a PET scan, but if you are making other types then there would need to be some type of hazardous material disposal.
    Of all the wonders in the universe, none is likely more fascinating and complicated than human nature.

    "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe."

    "Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence"

    -Einstein

    http://boinc.berkeley.edu/download.php

    Use your computing strength for science!
    Reply With Quote  
     

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