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Radioisotope Production and Radiation Technology Applications

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What our eyes are looking all around right now, all the things are made up of various kinds of elements, these are made of tiny atoms, and it consists subatomic particles such as electrons, protons and neutrons. Mankind had founded total 118 elements , they have different kind of properties and behavior, physical properties not astonishes us as internal or chemical properties of elements, “Radioactivity” is one of the most astonishing properties of elements, in 1895 Wilhelm Roentgen accidently discovered X-ray, afterwards in 1896 Henri Becquerel discovered Radioactivity first time, in 1903 Madame curie discovered Polonium and Radium from pitchblende, after these discoveries new doors were open for mankind to achieve more height of technology, we know , elements with unstable nuclei radiates energy in form of light, particle or in form of small nuclei of helium, those elements are known as “Radioisotopes”, they have large amount of applications in many fields such are medical, semiconductors ,agriculture, energy production, industry ,weaponry and research. Thus we have to know about it and it is interesting to discuss about this technology.

We can more likely say that radioisotopes are various versions of the elements, thus we have to know how we can get them because radioisotopes are utilizing to us in many fields, 92 U 235, 1H2, 90 Th23o etc., we can get them by naturally or artificially, in natural process we have to find the minerals or compounds which consists radioisotope element, in artificial method we use different kinds of accelerator and nuclear reactor, cyclotron and linear accelerator are best examples of particle accelerator . Cyclotron was invented by E.O Lawrence in 1929-1930, in this accelerator we bombard charge particle to target nucleus, or element of which we want to get radioisotope, this cyclotron works on principle of Lorentz force, in this device source of ions or charge particle placed center between “Dees”, dees are the plates shaped “D”, it has connected with alternating power supply which oscillates the polarity of electric field produced on dees, there were placed magnets perpendicular to the electric field it is guiding the particle and controlling its path , this whole arrangement has closed in vacuumed chamber, when power supply given by oscillator to the dees, it creates 0scillating electric field thus the ion or charged particle starts accelerating towards dees but, static magnetic field produced by magnet it pulls particle to upwards in helical path, due to electric field when particle get very high speed it escape from the electric field and goes into thin vacuumed chamber where it collide with the target materiel or elements and we get the radioisotope which radiates radiation, which we can use in medical diagnostic we can get F-18, Ga-87, I-123 etc. in India there is VECC ( variable Energy Cyclotron Center) for the nuclear research which was formed in 1977 which is controlled by Department of Atomic Energy (DAE) , there is another type of accelerator which is known as linear accelerator or linac , it was built in 1928 , it is used for external beams radiation treatment for the cancer patient, linac throws a beam of highly energized x ray which directly pointed to the tumor of the cancer in body of patient, and treatment given to the patient, In linear accelerator, all the setup for the accelerate particle is combined in line, at the starting ion source or charge particle source is placed , going towards target there is different plates at a distance closed in vacuumed chamber, the drift tubes which are horizontally arranged they have connected with oscillating power supply thus, particle accelerate with more speed, when particle or ion is shooted from the source if it is negative charged it attracts to plate which has positive electric field polarity so particle starts its motion towards plate when it goes forward to next plate due to oscillating electric field the polarity is changed of next plate is changed thus particle will attract to this plate and this process goes on ,when the particle achieve its highest speed which we want then it is targeted to the element which is in the vacuumed chamber ,when it collide with the elements it produce radioisotopes, according to this method we can get higher energized X ray , which is used in cancer therapy , we can get iodine-131, Strontium-89, samarium-153 and radium-223. These are some method , we can get radioisotopes through accelerator, in now time if we want large amount of charge particle for studies and research we uses synchrotrons which produces large bunch of accelerated particles.

There is more methods from which we can get radioisotopes, we can get it from nuclear reactors and their waste, in nuclear reactors when we bombard neutrons to uranium it split through fission process and produce different kind of elements which are radioisotopes, we can produce silicon radioisotope which uses in industrial purpose, we can radioisotopes which used in nuclear medicines like Mo-99,I-131, Sm-153 etc. we know that nuclear reactors used in purpose of producing electricity but, after we get some nuclear waste, which is hard to manage because it contains radioactive material which is harmful to human, but it is managed by experts they have arranged it that we can get some recovery from that waste, this waste contains radioisotopes elements , through filter process we can get them in pure state. We can get Cs-137, Sr-90, and Ce-134 etc. which has wide range of applications.

There is some difference between radiation and irradiation, radiation is the form of energy which can be in form of light and particle but irradiation is the process which describes how radiation do effect on surface, when we go out in sunlight we know its burns our skin, sunlight is electromagnetic wave or radiation which create some effect on surface of our skin. Through the processing of irradiation target it expose the material to radiate, thus it has large amount of application in food irradiation , which use to protect food for longtime and it kills bacteria which has taken place in food, though it process, we can improve food safety by preservation of the food , reduce the illness happen due to food. The chemical process of irradiation target of strontium sulphate is taken as we have to strontium sulphate and put into reactor for six hours with covered in polythene at pneumatic fast transfer system (PFTS) in this situation there is maximum thermal neutron flux then we get irradiated strontium sulphate target which we have to dissolve in water with sodium carbonate by giving heat for two hours , then we have to filter that Strontium carbonate in 4M HCl then add Fe(3) then precipitate are dissolved after then we have to separate it and then we can use it for irradiation of the various materials. We can use irradiation technology for food safety and packaging of the food, we now food consist various type of bacteria and virus so using this technology we can kill those living harmful organism, we can use it for packaging the food after packaging the food if we passes this packets through irradiated field it will kill the bacteria and food still fresh for long time ago. In India we have KAMINI reactor based at Indira Gandhi Center for Atomic research in Kalpakkam, it was built by Bhabha atomic Research center (BARC) and Indira Gandhi Atomic Research Center, KAMINI reactor was first reactor in the world which uses Uranium-233 as fuel. It is cooled and moderated by water.

We know the radioisotopes and technology have large scales of application in the countless fields such are semiconductors, nuclear medicine, industrial, healthcare, agriculture and weaponry. We know radiation is very harmful for the human body it can damage or kill body cells and damage to DNA of our body, but cancer cells and tumor cells of thyroid is more sensitive to radiation so that we can kill or stop their increasing population in body, for this purpose we are using different kinds of therapy as per tumor for treatment of cancer. Brachytherapy or short range radiotherapy is used for treatment of cancer, in this therapy using the beam of gamma radiation from radioisotope Cobalte-60 we direct to direction of the cancer cells and it kills or stops spreading that cell in body of patient. It can be internal or external. Targeted alpha emission (TAT) is the therapy in which short ranged highly energized alpha particle injected to the cancer cell and disperse it, it have to be injected once in lifetime, to treatment of thyroid gland tumor we uses iodine -131 radioisotope in small amount . Teletherapy or external beam therapy use for treatment of cancer, in this therapy ionizing radiation is projected to the tumor cells. In radiopharmaceuticals we use radiation technology for diagnostic of particular body cell or body part, in this method the radioisotope is injected in the body of patient, the sensitivity to radiation tumor cells interact with radiatiated particle when this parts comes in front of imaging device it detects and give perfect image on screen thus we can show the exact position of tumor cell, given radioisotopes to body its radiation outcome through swallowing, urine and in form of gaseous, we are familiar with computed tomography(CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) advantage of this type radiotracer we cannot even get images of bones we can also get images of soft tissue of the body, for diagnostic of tumor in lungs, heart and very sensitive part of body we use radioisotope Technetium-99, which has short half lifespan about six hours and it is very soft dose of radioactivity thus patient is very comfortable with it. More sterilise the medical products by gamma radiation such are syringe, gloves and clothing for this purpose they use Cobalt-60 to sterilise the products. Radiation technology is very useful for medical science.

In industrial revolution there is one important part taken by radiation technology, radioisotopes are used as tracer in industry level known as radiotracer, these radiotracers are used to check leaks, flows and filtration of material and pipelines, it detects leaks in pipelines and check flow and filtration of material, in industry to taste a metal or material parameters like thickness, impurity and checking of the gaseous or liquid pipes , and measure metal parameters , to find the real age of fossils and materiel and detect the compounds which consists the elements which we want by technology of Carbone dating , in the world there are many areas and countries which have not sufficient source of the water, it cause their people infected by many diseases thus filtration of water, for these purpose many countries have developed reactors which use for filtration of sea water, polluted water and not useable water, to provide water source to the mankind.

The numbers given by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN shows that about 795 million people were suffering from chronic undernourishment in 2014-16, for solve this problem radioisotopes and radiation used in agriculture to reduce this numbers , for mutate the seeds and plant gamma radiation given to plant and seeds it mutate the seeds. The mutation breeding plants now developed in many countries thus they can increase the yield. In Bangladesh they have produced new varieties of rice by mutate the seeds of rice using radiation technology. In this technology seeds are passes from radiation, this causes they starts their self-genetic mutation thus plants take short time to grow. Further then using particular radioisotope we can know that how much fertilizer plants want to grow, we can know it information by using Nitrogen-15. Thus we can give right amount to plant and land stay fertile. About 10 % of global yields losses due to insects, naturally theses insects stuck on the leaves and stem of the plants, it decrease growing of plant thus, fruits or products cannot get nutrition which we had given to by fertilizer to land. We can reduce crops losses due to insect by the radiation. Radiation is used to control insect’s population by the technique known as Sterile Insect Technique (SIT). In this technique we sterilized large amount of insect through gamma rays or x rays (irradiation). Thus insects cannot reproduce in simple words irradiation makes neutral these insects that cause population of these insects are controlled and it’s not harm to crops. In semiconductors, radiation technology uses for ion implantation, in this method impurity of tetravalent and pentavalent elements injected by the radiation into semiconductors. We have never missed that radiation technology and radioisotopes use in weaponry to protect our borders from enemy. And nuclear reactors used in production of electricity.

There is countless and wide range of application of radiation technology and radioisotopes, there is no field aspect from using of radiation technology, this journey was started from Roentgen, Becquerel and Madam Curie and now it is spreader all over the world and lading mankind to highest approaches of development And its controlled use can give better results to mankind and making life easy. It is goes on us how we use this technology, it can give both results one is destructive and second is developing. We have to create peace and use this radiation technology as possible as more to develop the humanity to next approaches.

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