Radioisotopes Production by Accelerators

  • Claudio Birattari
Part of the Ettore Majorana International Science Series book series (EMISS, volume 2)


It may be said that one of the most significant advances in nuclear science was made in 1930, when E.O. Lawrence and his associates built the first operational cyclotron at the University of California, Berkeley. With his cyclotron Lawrence was able to demonstrate nuclear transformation, a discovery that was to result in the large-scale use of radioisotopes in medicine, industry, agriculture and science. By 1939, cyclotron were being used in many parts of the world for the production of a wide range of radioisotopes. One of the main limitations of the cyclotron, however, is its inability to produce large quantities of radioactive material. Only one or two radioisotopes are made at a time, and this results in high production costs. Thus, the development of the nuclear reactor in 1942 by Fermi and his colleagues at the University of Chicago was seen by many to be the answer to the problem of limited radioisotopes production. Using a reactor, it is possible to make large quantities of several different radioisotopes simultaneously, and at a relatively low cost compared with those made on a cyclotron. As with the cyclotron, so too with nuclear reactor, which has been developed so that now are used extensively for radioisotope production.


Placenta Praevia Graaff Accelerator Radioisotope Production Cyclotron Production Regional Lung Ventilation 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Claudio Birattari
    • 1
  1. 1.Istituto di FisicaUniversità degli StudiMilanoItaly

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