Theoretical and experimental investigations of Sc-47 production at Egyptian Second Research Reactor (ETRR-2)


The present work was planned to evaluate the reactor production of 47Sc from calcium and titanium targets at Egyptian Second Research Reactor (ETRR-2) based on 46Ca (n, γ) 47Ca \(\mathop{\longrightarrow}\limits^{\beta - }\) 47Sc and 47Ti (n, p) 47Sc nuclear ractions, respectively. A comparison between the two routs in terms of specific activity of 47Sc and co-produced radioimpurities was carried out. The MCNPX2.7.0 code was used to estimate the levels of all radionuclides produced throughout as well as after the irradiation of 46CaCO3, natTiO2 and 47TiO2 targets. The computational results were verified by experimental measurements, and a good aggrement was found between both. Additionally, our results showed that 47Sc production is greatly preferred from titanium route rather than calcium route.


Radioisotopes are one of the most important pioneering applications of radiation, which contributed greatly for diagnosis and therapy of many diseases. Therefore, considerable interest has been driven for the development, production and application of medical radionuclides [1, 2]. Moreover, it has become a topic of intensive research to identify new emerging radionuclides, either for molecular diagnosis or targeted radiotherapy.

The principal determinant for the application of a radiosotope, its decay properties. Generally, radionuclides with gamma or positron emissions are used for diagnosis, such as 99mTc (T1/2 = 6.0 h) utilized in Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT), and 18F (T1/2 = 109.6 min) utilized in Positron Emission Tomography (PET), while radionuclides emitting highly-ionizing radiation, such as α or βˉ particles are used for radiotherapy [2].

Over the last few decades, a tremendous effort has been devoted for coupling diagnostic imaging and internal radionuclide therapy. The combination between diagnostic and therapeutic emissions using the same molecule or at least very similar molecules is reflected in the term “theranostics”. The importance of such strategy lies in many characteristics, such as the possibility of monitoring therapeutic efficacy, pre-therapy scan and post-therapy follow up for potential targets [3,4,5].

The development of theranostics started in the early 1990s when some researchers used a SPECT radionuclide as a surrogate of a therapeutic radionuclide. However, such attempts didn’t provide patient-individual quantitative data on radiation doses. In 1992, researchers at the Research Center Jülich, Germany paired PET with endoradiotherapy. This method of using a matched pair of radionuclides, one emitting positron and the other emitting β particle helped immensely in the quantification of the therapy. Examples of these matched pairs are 64Cu/67Cu, 86Y/90Y, 124I/131I, 152 Tb/161Tb and 68Ga/67 Ga [2, 6,7,8,9].

Recently, 47Sc has got a lot of concern, owing to its excellent nuclear properties. It has an independent characteristic γ-line (159.381 keV, 68.3%) suitable for SPECT imaging, beside to low energy β-particles [444.1 keVmax (68%) and 600.5 keVmax (32%)] that can be used for TRT (targeted radionuclide therapy) of small sized tumors. Furthermore, the physical half-life of 3.35 d facilitates its conjugation with different biomolecules of slow kinetics, in addition to easy distribution to remote hospitals [10,11,12,13,14].

There are several nuclear reactions available for 47Sc production, either from nuclear reactors or particle accelerators [5, 9, 10, 12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26]. Qaim et. al. summarizes all the routs used for the production of 47Sc [2]. The production methods in a nuclear reactor are based on the neutron activation of calcium and titanium targets through two different nuclear reactions; 46Ca (n, γ) 47Ca \(\mathop{\longrightarrow}\limits^{\beta - }\) 47Sc and 47Ti (n, p) 47Sc, respectively [9].

Many factors must be taken into account when comparing different production routes for a definite radioisotope, such as the specific activity, the radionuclidic purity, the target dissolution time, the separation method and the cost of target material [10, 17].

Keeping in view the above considerations, the current work was undertaken to evaluate the two different nuclear reactions available for 47Sc production from nuclear reactor and for that MCNPX2.7.0 code was used to simulate the Egyptian Second Research Reactor (ETRR-2) core and estimate the production yield of 47Sc from the two routs, as well as the yield of radiocontaminants. Finally, the validity of the calculations was verified by experimental measurements on irradiated calcium and titanium targets. It's worth noting that this work complements what we have published about the production of 47Sc using natural calcium carbonate [9].

Materials and methods


Calcium carbonate, tianium oxide, hydrochloric acid and hydrofluoric acid were obtained from Sigma-Aldrich, Germany. Enriched calcium carbonate (4.9 ± 0.4%, enriched in 46Ca) and enriched titanium oxide (95.70 ± 0.30%, enriched in 47Ti) were supplied by Isoflex, San Francisco, CA, USA. The isotopic composition of natural and enriched targets is shown in Table 1.

Table 1 Isotopic composition of calcium, titanium and their enriched targets

Radioactivity measurements

The gamma-ray spectroscopic measurements were done using N-type coaxial HPGe Ortec detector with 100% relative efficiency and a resolution of 2.1 keV at 1.333 MeV Co-60 line. The detector coupled to a multi-channel analyzer (MCA), power supply and amplifier. The energy and efficiency calibrations of the detector was carried out using standard point sources of 133Ba, 60Co, 137Cs and 152Eu; all of them were produced by Isotope Products Laboratories. Samples of constant geometry were counted at distances of 10 cm from the detector end cap with dead time below 5%.

Target preparation and neutron irradiation

Three samples of 46CaCO3 (10 ± 0.5 mg), TiO2 (100 ± 1 mg), and 47TiO2 (50 ± 1 mg) were placed separately in quartz ampoules and encapsulated in aluminum irradiation cans, which tested for leaks before delivery to the reactor (For the titanium targets, the quartz ampoules were wrapped in cadmium sheets before being placed in the aluminum cans). The samples were irradiated at highest neutron flux for about 24 h in the ETRR-2 research reactor.

Chemical processing of the irradiated targets

All the processing steps were carried out in a fume hood behind a shield of lead bricks of 10-cm thickness, to ensure safety conditions and avoid contamination. The samples were allowed to decay 3 days post irradiation. Then, the quartz ampoules were cut and the radioactive contents were transferred separately in the dissolution flask. The calcium target was dissolved in conc. HCl [9], while the titanium targets were dissolved in conc. HF [26]. A small aliquot was withdrawn from each radioactive solution and subjected for radiometric analysis after appropriate dilution of the radioactivity.

Simulation of ETRR-2 core by MCNPX code

MCNPX is a general purpose Monte Carlo radiation transport code designed to track many particle types over a broad range of energies. It is capable of tracking 34 particle types including neutrons, protons, nucleons and light ions [27, 28]. A licensed MCNPX2.7.0 computational code (Los Alamos National Laboratory, US), purchased by us was used to design 3D model of the ETRR-2 core to simulate the neutron activation of 46CaCO3, natTiO2 and 47TiO2 targets.

The ETRR-2, also called Multi-Purpose Reactor (MPR) is a pool-type reactor. The core power is 22MWth, cooled and moderated by light water with beryllium blocks reflectors. The reactor core is a rectangular arrangement of up to 30 fuel element and the irradiation grid around the core is variable arrangement of Be, irradiation boxes, Al blocks and plugs. Figure 1 shows a schematic diagram of the ETRR-2 core. There are 23 irradiation positions in the irradiation grid assigned for radioisotopes production. Sample holders were designated for manually loading of samples in the irradiation positions. The capacity of each sample holder, and hence the irradiation position is 16 irradiation aluminum canisters arranged in 8 shells spaced by 9 cm [9, 29,30,31].


Layout of ETRR-2 reactor core and different irradiation positions

An MCNP input file was created that would be subsequently read by MCNP. This file contains information about the problem in areas, such as geometry specification, description of materials, and selection of cross-section evaluations. A criticality calculation (KCODE calculations) is used to calculate the system criticality and the required tallies, such as the neutron fluxes, interaction rates, etc. A spherical segment with radius of 3 cm centered at 15 cm down the central surface of the core, where highest neutron flux is available was assumed for the irradiation of 46CaCO3, natTiO2 and 47TiO2 samples placed separately in aluminium irradiation cans, then the samples subjected for irradiation period of 3 days and decay period of 20 days in order to calculate the activity of produced 47Sc, as well as the radiocontaminants generated during the irradiation.

Activity calculations

There are two different routes available for the reactor production of no-carrier added 47Sc. The first one is from calcium target using thermal neutrons through the nuclear reaction [46Ca (n, γ) 47Ca \(\mathop{\longrightarrow}\limits^{\beta - }\) 47Sc], and the second one is from titanium target using fast neutrons through the nuclear reaction [47Ti (n, p) 47Sc].

Calcium route

In this route the neutron capture of 46Ca resulted in the formation of the parent 47Ca radionuclide, which β decayed to give the daughter 47Sc radionuclide. During the neutron irradiation, the rate of 47Ca generation is given as:

$$\frac{{dN^{Ca - 47} \left( t \right)}}{dt} = N_{0}^{Ca - 46} \sigma_{\gamma Ca - 46} \phi - N^{Ca - 47} \left( t \right)\lambda_{Ca - 47} - N^{Ca - 47} \sigma_{\gamma Ca - 47} \phi$$

where \(N_{0}^{Ca - 46}\) is the number of 46Ca atoms in the target, \(\sigma_{\gamma Ca - 46}\) is the effective neutron radiative capture cross section of 46Ca, \(\phi\) is the neutron flux, \(N^{Ca - 47} \left( t \right)\) is the number of 47Ca atoms generated in the target at irradiation time, \(t,\) \(\lambda_{ca - 47}\) is the decay constant of 47Ca, and \(\sigma_{\gamma Ca - 47}\) is the effective neutron radiative capture cross section of 47Ca.

In Eq. (1), the depletion in the target due to the neutron absorption is neglected. Integrating Eq. (1) to get \(N^{Ca - 47} \left( t \right)\), and then multiplying the two sides by \(\lambda_{Ca - 47}\) to obtain generated activity, \(A^{Ca - 47} \left( t \right)\) at time \(t\):

$$A^{Ca - 47} \left( t \right) = \frac{{\lambda_{Ca - 47} }}{{\lambda_{eq} }}N_{0}^{Ca - 46} \sigma_{\gamma Ca - 46} \phi \left( {1 - e^{{ - \lambda_{eq} t}} } \right)$$

where \(\lambda_{eq} = \lambda_{Ca - 47} + \sigma_{\gamma Ca - 47\phi }\).

Now, the production rate of 47Ca is given by:

$$A^{Ca - 47} \left( t \right) = N_{0}^{Ca - 46} \sigma_{\gamma Ca - 46} \phi \left( {1 - e^{{ - \lambda_{Ca - 47} t}} } \right)$$

The 47Sc activity can be obtained from the following equation:

$$A^{Sc - 47} \left( t \right) = N_{0}^{Ca - 47} \sigma_{\gamma Ca - 46} \phi \left[ {\left( {1 - e^{{ - \lambda_{Sc - 47} t}} } \right) - \frac{{\lambda_{Sc - 47} \left( {e^{{ - \lambda_{Sc - 47} t}} - e^{{ - \lambda_{Ca - 47} t}} } \right)}}{{\left( {\lambda_{Sc - 47} - \lambda_{Ca - 47} } \right)}}} \right]$$

After irradiation time \(t_{i} ,\) the decay of 47Sc activity at any time \(\tau\) will be:

$$A^{Sc - 47} \left( t \right) = \frac{{\lambda_{Sc - 47} A^{Ca - 47} \left( {t_{i} } \right) }}{{\left( {\lambda_{Sc - 47} - \lambda_{Ca - 47} } \right)}}\left( {e^{{ - \lambda_{Ca - 47} \tau }} - e^{{ - \lambda_{Sc - 47} \tau }} } \right) + A^{Sc - 47} \left( {t_{i} } \right) e^{{ - \lambda_{Sc - 47} \tau }}$$

Titanium route

Natural titanium contains five stable isotopes with relative abundances [46Ti(8%), 47Ti(7.3%), 48Ti(73.8%), 49Ti(5.5%) and 50Ti(5.4%)]. The build-up of Sc-xx (xx is the mass number) activity with the time, \(A \left( t \right)\) during the irradiation of Ti-xx is governed by the following equation [32]:

$$A \left( t \right) = R\left( {1 - e^{ - \lambda t} } \right)$$

where \(\lambda\) is the decay constant of Sc-xx, and \(R\) is the interaction rate:

$$R = N\smallint \sigma \left( E \right) \phi \left( E \right)dE$$

where \(\sigma\) is the neutron cross section of the reaction [\({}_{22}^{xx} Ti \left( {n,p} \right){}_{21}^{xx} Sc\)], and \(N\) is the number of atoms of Ti-xx in the target.

If the titanium target is irradiated for time,\(t_{i}\) and left to decay for time, \(t_{d}\), at reaction rate, \(R\) the activity, \(A \left( t \right)\) would be:

$$A \left( t \right) = R\left( {1 - e^{{ - \lambda t_{i} }} } \right)e^{{ - \lambda t_{d} }}$$

Results and discussion

Theoretical calculations of 47 Sc production at ETRR-2

Flux calculation

Due to the very low cross section of the two nuclear reactions available for the reactor produced 47Sc, a high neutron flux is needed to get the required specific activity to compensate the decrease in the reactions cross section and the low natural abundances of the target isotopes. MCNPX2.7.0 code was used to calculate the thermal, epithermal and fast fluxes for the irradiation channel of the highest neutron flux. The calculated fluxes are given in Table 2.

Table 2 Calculated thermal, epithermal and fast fluxes in the irradiation position of interest. Uncertainty is less than 1%

Production of 47 Sc from calcium target

As we mentioned previously that our group studied the Sc-47 production using natCaCO3 target [9], this section will be focused on its production from 46CaCO3 target.

Figure 2 shows the calculations performed using MCNP for irradiating 46CaCO3 at a thermal neutron flux of 1.8 × 1014 n cm−2 s−1. The figure revealed that different isotopes other than 47Sc were produced from the neutron activation of enriched calcium target. The produced radioisotopes are divided into three groups. The first group includes the short-lived radioisotopes, like 49Sc and 50Sc that quickly decayed at the end or shortly after irradiation. The second group are the easily separated radioisotopes, like 43Ca, 44Ca, 45Ca, 47Ca and 49Ca. The third group are the long-lived radioisotopes, like 46Sc and 48Sc that are difficult to separate due to their chemical similarity with 47Sc. Figure 2 clarifies that enriching 46Ca to 4.9% reduced the ratio between 46Sc activity to 47Sc activity by around 1000 times less than that in the case of natural calcium [9]. Additionally, the specific activity of the generated 47Sc was multiplied by more than 1000 times. The undesired generated 49Sc activity is dramatically increased, but fortunately this radioisotope has a short half life (57 min.), and therefore its activity after less than one day from the irradiation will be negligible.


Specific activity of all radioisotopes generated from irradiation of enriched calcium target (46CaCO3) as a function of time (irradiation time 3 days, decay time 20 days)

Production of 47 Sc from titanium target

Titanium has five naturally occurring isotopes: 46Ti, 47Ti, 48Ti, 49Ti and 50Ti. The irradiation of natural titanium target, generates different scandium radioisotopes. Table 3 shows all the scandium radioisotopes produced from (n, p) reactions [19]. It should be underlined that the (n, γ) reaction doesn’t lead to a serious activation of the target. Additionally, the cadmium cover around the titanium target shielded the thermal neutrons.

Table 3 The (n, p) reaction cross sections of titanium isotopes averaged on the fission Watt spectrum of U-235 based on the ENDF/B-VII.0 data library

Assuming two samples of natTiO2 and 47TiO2 were irradiated separately for 3 days in the irradiation position of interest at ETRR-2, the build-up/decay of activities of the generated scandium radioisotopes are summarized in Figs. 3 and 4, respectively.


Build-up/decay of scandium radioisotopes activities generated from the irradiation of natural titanium (TiO2) (irradiation time 3 days, decay time 20 days)

Fig. 4

Build-up/decay of scandium radioisotopes activities generated from the irradiation of enriched titanium (47TiO2) (irradiation time 3 days, decay time 20 days)

The figures clearly show that the amount of the activity increases with increasing the irradiation time and reaches its peak value at the end of irradiation. It is also noted from the calculations that the specific activity decreases gradually during the decay period for all the generated radioisotopes other than 46Sc that remains nearly stable throughout the period of decay, and this due to the tphys of 46Sc is many times greater than the tphys of 47Sc. Among the scandium radioisotopes generated, 46Sc and 48Sc are the most important radiocontaminants coproduced with 47Sc; this is because these two radionuclides hinder the applicability of 47Sc in nuclear medicine, owing to their longer half life as well as higher energetic gamma emissions [46Sc, 83.8 d, γ (889.2 keV (99.98%), 1120.5 keV (99.99%); 48Sc, 43.7 h, γ (983.3 keV (100%), 1037.5 keV (97.6%), 1311.7 keV (100%)]. So that, enriching the titanium in 47Ti is highly recommended to reduce these impurities and maximize the specific activity of 47Sc [19]. Figure 4 clearly illustrates this fact, where the activities of all undesired generated scandium radiocontaminants were suppressed and the specific activity of generated 47Sc was enhanced to around 13 times than that of natural titanium. The ratio between the activity of 46Sc to the activity of 47Sc was reduced by around 250 times less than that in the case of natural titanium.

Experimental measurements

To verify the previous calculations done by MCNP code for 47Sc production either from calcium or titanium targets, samples of 46CaCO3, natTiO2 and 47TiO2 were irradiated at ETRR-2 for 24 h at a reactor power of 19 MW in the same position as the calculations and the data are presented in Table 4. The measured activities have been normalized to the reactor full power, as well as to be per gram of targets. Additionally, the moisture content has been measured and corrected [33]. The data obtained clarifies a good agreement between the calculations and the measurements with accepted discrepancies. These discrepancies are due to approximations in the calculation model, the movement of the reactor control rods and the uncertainties in the nuclear data used [9, 30]. As shown from the table that the production of 47Sc from natural titanium target, produces specific activity 10 times greater than that produced from calcium target [9, 34]. However, the specific activity of 46Sc and 48Sc radiocontaminants is much higher in the case of titanium rather than calcium. Therefore, enriching the calcium in 46Ca and titanium in 47Ti was imperative to increase the specific activity of 47Sc for the first and reduce the amount of the radioimpurities for the later. Although enriched calcium and titanium targets produce roughly the same amount of radioactivity, the cost of enriched calcium target and its lack of availability with a high enrichment rate made scandium production preferred using enriched titanium target. The only drawback for titanium target, the time-consuming dissolution step, but recent studies have helped to overcome this problem [19, 26, 35].

Table 4 Measured and calculated scandium radioisotopes activities generated from the irradiation of 46CaCO3, natTiO2 and 47TiO2 targets


The reactor production of 47Sc from calcium and titanium targets was investigated in a medium flux ETRR-2 reactor. MCNPX calculations were carried out for 3 days irradiation and 20 days after irradiation in order to predict the activities of 47Sc and the generated radioactive by-products. The obtained calculations were checked by irradiating different samples of 46CaCO3, natTiO2 and 47TiO2. A good agreement between the calculations and the measurements was found with accepted discrepancies between both. Enriched 46CaCO3 and 47TiO2 targets are necessary to obtain high specific activity of 47Sc and reduce the undesired radiocontaminants. The results also showed that the production of 47Sc through titanium is much better than that of calcium.


  1. 1.

    Stöcklin G, Qaim SM, Rösch F (1995) The impact of radioactivity on medicine. Radiochim Acta 70(71):249–272

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Qaim SM, Scholten B, Neumaier B (2018) New developments in the production of theranostic pairs of radionuclides. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 318(3):1493–1509

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Srivastava SC (2011) Paving the way to personalized medicine: production of some theragnostic radionuclides at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Radiochim Acta 99(10):635–640

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Yordanova A, Eppard E, Kürpig S, Bundschuh RA, Schoenberger S, Gonzalez-Carmona M, Essler M (2017) Theranostics in nuclear medicine practice. Oncotargets Therapy 10:4821

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Chakravarty R, Chakraborty S, Ram R, Dash A (2017) An electroamalgamation approach to separate 47Sc from neutron-activated 46Ca target for use in cancer theranostics. Sep Sci Technol 52(14):2363–2371

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Herzog H, Rosch F, Stocklin G, Lueders C, Qaim SM, Feinendegen LE (1993) Measurement of pharmacokinetics of Yttrium-86 radiopharmaceuticals with PET and radiation. J Nucl Med 34:2222–2226

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Rösch F, Herzog H, Qaim SM (2017) The beginning and development of the theranostic approach in nuclear medicine, as exemplified by the radionuclide pair 86Y and 90Y. Pharmaceuticals 10(2):56

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. 8.

    Qaim SM (2019) Theranostic radionuclides: recent advances in production methodologies. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 322(3):1257–1266

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Gizawy MA, Mohamed NM, Aydia MI, Soliman MA, Shamsel-Din HA (2020) Feasibility study on production of Sc-47 from neutron irradiated Ca target for cancer theranostics applications. Radiochim Acta 108(3):207–215

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Pietrelli L, Mausner LF, Kolsky KL (1992) Separation of carrier-free 47Sc from titanium targets. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 157(2):335–345

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Majkowska-pilip A, Bilewicz A (2011) Macrocyclic complexes of scandium radionuclides as precursors for diagnostic and therapeutic radiopharmaceuticals. J Inorg Biochem 105(2):331

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Müller C, Bunka M, Haller S, Köster U, Groehn V, Bernhardt P, Schibli R (2014) Promising prospects for 44Sc-/47Sc-based theragnostics: application of 47Sc for radionuclide tumor therapy in mice. J Nucl Med 55(10):1658–1664

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Domnanich KA, Müller C, Benešová M, Dressler R, Haller S, Köster U, Ponsard B, Schibli R, Türler A, van der Meulen NP (2017) 47Sc as useful β-emitter for the radiotheragnostic paradigm: a comparative study of feasible production routes. EJNMMI Radiopharm Chem 2(1):5

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Gizawy MA, Aydia MI, Monem IMA, Shamsel-Din HA, Siyam T (2019) Radiochemical separation of reactor produced Sc-47 from natural calcium target using poly(acrylamide-acrylic acid)/multi-walled carbon nanotubes composite. Appl Radiat Isot 150:87–94

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    Yagi M, Kondo K (1977) Preparation of carrier-free 47Sc by the 48Ti(γ, p) reaction. Int J Appl Radiat Isot 28:463–468

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Kopecky P, Szelecsényi F, Molnair T, Mikecz P, Tárkányi F (1993) Excitation functions of (p, xn) reactions on natTi: monitoring of bombarding proton beams. Appl Radiat Isot 44:687

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Kolsky KL, Joshi V, Mausner LF, Srivastava SC (1998) Radiochemical purification of no-carrier-added scandium-47 for radioimmunotherapy. Appl Radiat Isot 49(12):1541–1549

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Mausner LF, Kolsky KL, Joshi V, Srivastava SC (1998) Radionuclide development at BNL for nuclear medicine therapy. Appl Radiat Isot 49:285–294

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Bokhari TH, Mushtaq A, Khan IU (2010) Separation of no-carrier-added radioactive scandium from neutron irradiated titanium. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 283(2):389–393

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Bartoś B, Majkowska A, Kasperek A, Krajewski S, Bilewicz A (2012) New separation method of no-carrier added 47Sc from titanium targets. Radiochim Acta 100:457–461

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Mamtimin M, Harmon F, Starovoitova VN (2015) Sc-47 production from titanium targets using electron linacs. Appl Radiat Isot 102:1–4

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Starovoitova VN, Cole PL, Grimm TL (2015) Accelerator-based photoproduction of promising beta-emitters 67Cu and 47Sc. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 305(1):127–132

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  23. 23.

    Rane S, Harris JT, Starovoitova VN (2015) 47Ca production for 47Ca/47Sc generator system using electron linacs. Appl Radiat Isot 97:188–192

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Deilami-nezhad L, Moghaddam-Banaem L, Sadeghi M, Asgari M (2016) Production and purification of Scandium-47: a potential radioisotope for cancer theranostics. Appl Radiat Isot 118:124–130

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Rotsch DA, Brown MA, Nolen JA, Brossard T, Henning WF, Chemerisov SD, Greene J (2018) Electron linear accelerator production and purification of scandium-47 from titanium dioxide targets. Appl Radiat Isot 131:77–82

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Gizawy MA, Shamsel-Din HA, Abdelmonem IM, Ibrahim MI, Mohamed LA, Metwally E (2020) Synthesis of chitosan-acrylic acid/multiwalled carbon nanotubes composite for theranostic 47Sc separation from neutron irradiated titanium target. Int J Biol Macromol 163:79–86

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Pelowitz DB (2011) MCNPX user’s manual version 2.7. 0-LA-CP-11-00438. Los Alamos National Laboratory

  28. 28.

    Hosseini SF, Sadeghi M, Aboudzadeh MR (2017) Theoretical assessment and targeted modeling of TiO2 in reactor towards the scandium radioisotopes estimation. Appl Radiat Isot 127:116–121

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Mandour A, Megahid RM, Hassan MH, Abd El Salam TM (2007) Characterization and application of the thermal neutron radiography beam in the Egyptian Second Experimental and Training Research Reactor (ETRR-2). Science and Technology of Nuclear Installations

  30. 30.

    Hassanain AM, Mohamed NM, Aly MN, Badawi AA, Gaheen MA (2011) Neutron flux characterization for radioisotope production at ETRR-2. World Acad Sci Eng Technol Int J Math Comput Phys Electr Comput Eng 5(1):36–40

    Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Mohamed NM, Gaheen MA (2016) Design of fast neutron channels for topaz irradiation. Nucl Eng Des 310:429–437

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  32. 32.

    Lamarch JR (1983) Introduction to nuclear engineering. Addison-Wesley, Berlin

    Google Scholar 

  33. 33.

    Mohamed NMA (2017) Accurate corrections of HPGe detector efficiency for NAA samples. J Radiat Nucl Appl 2:37–43

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. 34.

    Soliman MA, Mohamed NM, Takamiya K, Sekimoto S, Inagaki M, Oki Y, Ohtsuki T (2020) Estimation of 47 Sc and 177 Lu production rates from their natural targets in Kyoto University Research Reactor. J Radioanal Nucl Chem 2020:1–9

    Google Scholar 

  35. 35.

    Loveless CS, Blanco JR, Diehl GL, Elbahrawi RT, Carzaniga TS, Braccini S, Lapi SE (2020) Cyclotron production and separation of scandium radionuclides from natural titanium metal and titanium dioxide targets. J Nucl Med 62:131–136

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


This work was supported by the IAEA Research Contract No: 20548 in the form of IAEA CRP on ‘‘Therapeutic Radiopharmaceuticals Labelled with New Emerging Radionuclides “(67Cu, 186Re, 47Sc)”.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mohamed A. Gizawy.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Gizawy, M.A., Mohamed, N. Theoretical and experimental investigations of Sc-47 production at Egyptian Second Research Reactor (ETRR-2). J Radioanal Nucl Chem (2021).

Download citation


  • Scandium-47
  • Theranostics
  • MCNPX2.7.0
  • Reactor produced radioisotopes