Researchers at The University of Texas at Austin have devised a new method for enriching a group of the world’s most expensive chemical commodities, stable isotopes, which are vital to medical imaging and nuclear power, as reported this week in the journal Nature Physics.
For many isotopes, the new method is cheaper than existing methods. For others, it is more environmentally friendly.
A less expensive, domestic source of stable isotopes could ensure continuation of current applications while opening up opportunities for new medical therapies and fundamental scientific research.
Chemical elements often exist in nature as a blend of different variants called isotopes. To be useful in most applications, a single isotope has to be enriched, or separated out from the rest.
A combination of factors has created a looming shortage of some of the world’s most expensive but useful stable isotopes.
The Latest on: Isotope Enrichment
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The Latest on: Isotope Enrichment
- Iran’s nuclear enrichment isn’t about building a weapon. It’s about diplomacy. Here’s why.on July 5, 2019 at 8:13 am
“Our enrichment rate is not going to be 3.67 percent anymore ... This means that the percentage of uranium-235, a naturally occurring fissile uranium isotope, must be increased. In the uranium we find ... […]
- Iran has announced it will increase its uranium enrichment beyond nuclear deal limitson July 4, 2019 at 3:17 am
Iran has previously said it plans to raise enrichment to 20 per cent — the level it possessed in its stockpile before the 2015 deal went through. It argued this level was needed to produce isotopes ... […]
- Iran poised to press ahead with uranium enrichment despite Trump warningon July 4, 2019 at 12:40 am
Despite dire warnings from the United States, Iran will immediately accelerate its enrichment of uranium in violation of ... which refers to the percentage of a uranium isotope that is considered ... […]
- Rouhani Says Iran Will Begin Enriching Uranium at Higher Level in Dayson July 3, 2019 at 4:16 pm
Mr. Rouhani’s pledge to accelerate the country’s uranium enrichment is the latest step in an escalating ... uranium was intended for use in a reactor that produces medical isotopes. But the United ... […]
- What to know about Iran's uranium enrichment programon July 3, 2019 at 9:45 am
Here's what this all means for Iran's nuclear program: How does uranium enrichment work? Uranium in the form mined from the earth consists of several uranium isotopes, meaning they have different ... […]
- Iranian president warns Tehran will increase uranium enrichment ‘as much as we want’ on Sundayon July 3, 2019 at 3:18 am
Iran has repeatedly threatened that by July 7 it will increase enrichment above 3.67 percent concentration of Uranium-235 — the level of fissile isotope allowed under the nuclear deal — unless it ... […]
- Iran breaches uranium enrichment threshold of 2015 nuclear deal, says state mediaon July 1, 2019 at 4:20 am
But progress has been slow and the breaching of the limit was expected last Friday. Low-enriched uranium contains 3 to 4 per cent of the most fissile isotope, U-235. A spokesman for the AEOI, Behrouz ... […]
- Nuclear Weapons and Iran’s Uranium Enrichment Program: 4 Questions Answeredon June 26, 2019 at 9:13 pm
Freshly mined uranium contains more than 99% of an isotope called uranium 238, which is not fissile, plus a tiny fraction of uranium 235, which is fissile. Enrichment is an industrial process to ... […]
- Factbox: The Atomic Restrictions Imposed by the Iran Nuclear Dealon June 26, 2019 at 4:57 am
physics and technology center" where centrifuges are used for purposes other than enrichment, like producing stable isotopes. The JCPOA also: - Slashes the number of centrifuges installed in Iran to ... […]
- The Latest: Iran spokesman: Iran needs 20% enriched uraniumon June 25, 2019 at 6:23 am
... plant in southern Iranian port of Bushehr and it needs 20% enrichment for a Tehran research reactor. When uranium is mined, it typically has about 140 atoms of this unwanted isotope for every atom ... […]
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