Breaking News

July 2014: Microgram Quantities of Berkelium-249 Available

Please click here for more information about the availability of microgram quantities of Berkelium-249.

July 2014: Applications Being Accepted for the SCGSR Program

Please click here for more information about 2014 DOE Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) Program.

July 2014: The International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies will hold Pacifichem 2015 in Honolulu, Hawaii, December 15-20, 2015

Please click here for more information about Pacifichem 2015.

June 2014: Leonard Mausner of Brookhaven Lab's Collider-Accelerator Department Granted Tenure

Please click here for more information about Leonard Mausner of Brookhaven Lab's Collider-Accelerator Department.

June 2014: Funding Opportunity Announcement DE-FOA-0001136: Leveraging Isotope Program Resources and Enhancing Facilities for Isotope Production and Research

Please click here for more information about this Funding Opportunity Announcement.

May 2014: Televised Interview with ORNL Nuclear Engineer Julie Ezold

Please click here to view the WVLT-TV interview with ORNL Nuclear Engineer Julie Ezold entitled "8 Questions with a Nuclear Engineer and Single Mom".

April 2014: New Video Highlights the Cf-252 Production Program at ORNL

Please click here to view the video "Julie Ezold - Isotopes".

April 2014: New Video Highlights Isotope Production at LANL

Please click here to view the video "Women Who Inspire: Eva Birnbaum".

March 2014: Research, Development, and Training in Isotope Production

Please click here for more information about this Funding Opportunity Announcement.

February 2014: Targeted Radiochemistry and Associated Technology Development for Integrated Nuclear Medicine Research and Training with Human Application

Please click here for more information about this Joint Research Funding Opportunity Announcement.

September 2013: Bidding is Now Closed for Summer 2013 He3 Auction

Please click here for more information about the Summer 2013 3He auction.

August 2013: Summer 2013 He3 Auction in Progress

Please click here for more information about the ongoing Summer 2013 3He auction.

July 2013: FedBizOpps Announcement Released for He-3 Auction in Summer 2013

The DOE Isotope Program is pleased to announce an upcoming auction for 4,000 liters of He-3 gas. Please see this FedBizOpps.gov (Federal Business Opportunities) web link for more details.

July 2013: He-3 Auction in Summer 2013

For the second year, DOE is planning to conduct a Helium-3 (He-3) auction. 4,000 liters of He-3 gas will be available for bids in a process similar to the one conducted late in 2012. DOE's Invitation for Bids (IFB) for the purchase of He-3 gas is scheduled to be posted for viewing and downloading on the NIDC website by August 9, 2013.

After the Invitation for Bids is issued, DOE will accept questions submitted to the following email address: He3auction@science.doe.gov, no later than 5 PM (Eastern Daylight Time), on August 23, 2013. The Bid process is currently slated to come to a close on September 17, 2013.

July 2013: Copper-67 Shipments are Scheduled for July 23, 2013

A Copper-67 (Cu-67) production run is scheduled for this month, with shipments scheduled to occur on July 23, 2013. The Cu-67 is priced at $295.00 per millicurie, plus $300.00 for packaging. Please contact Mitch Ferren (email address ferrendm@ornl.gov) of the Isotope Business Office by COB Monday, July 15, 2013, if you are interested in purchasing material.

February 2013: ORNL begins implementation of new Californium-252 production contract

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., Feb. 28, 2013 -- The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory - home of one of only two reactor facilities in the world capable of producing Californium-252 (Cf-252) - has begun implementing a new six-year contract between the DOE Isotope Program and industry to make this unique and versatile radioisotope.

The new contract follows the successful completion of a four-year Cf-252 program under an agreement with a consortium of industries that use the neutron emitting radioisotope for a number of applications that focus mostly on analysis, detection and nuclear energy.

"Californium-252 serves as a unique, portable neutron source," said Julie Ezold, who manages ORNL's Cf-252 production program. "A cross-cut of industries including coal, oil and mineral companies rely on it for critical applications, and it is used in defense and national security applications."

The radioisotope is critical to a number of energy and security related tasks. The coal industry uses Cf-252's neutron emissions to detect impurities in coal; the construction industry performs similar analysis on cement. The oil industry sends the radioisotope down well shafts to determine the well's potential productivity. Cf-252 is also used to calibrate radiation detection instruments including those used in worldwide port security operations. The powerful neutron emitter is also used to start up dormant naval and commercial nuclear reactors.

ORNL's High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) is one of only two reactors in the world with sufficient neutron production, or "flux," to irradiate Curium targets to produce Cf-252. The irradiated targets are then processed in the adjoining hot cells at the Radiochemical Engineering and Development Center (REDC).

The only other facility capable of producing Cf-252 is in Dimitrovgrad, Russia. Cf-252 produced at ORNL supplies approximately 70 percent of global demand for the material.

Cf-252 results from a complex process that begins with the irradiation of a Curium target in HFIR, followed by several steps involving chemical processing and purification at the REDC and fabrication of new Curium targets. The process includes the production of several precursor radioisotopes; in fact, the Cf-252 program enabled the production of the Berkelium-249 used in the U.S.-Russia collaboration that discovered element 117, announced in 2010.

The work is funded through the DOE Isotope Program within the DOE Office of Science. The Office of Science and the consortium finalized the new, six-year contract in November.

"With HFIR, REDC and the unique nuclear engineering capabilities they provide, the DOE Isotope Program is able to supply a global, billion-dollar industry with a critical material," Ezold said. "This one-of-a-kind direct contract with industry makes possible work that is important to our energy sector and to global security."

ORNL is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy's Office of Science.

DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States, and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, please visit science.energy.gov.

MEDIA CONTACT: Bill Cabage
ORNL Communications
cabagewh at ornl.gov

December 2012: Medical Isotope Legislation Update
The American Medical Isotopes Production Act, first introduced in 2009 to provide federal assistance for the domestic production of the medical isotope molybdenum-99 (Mo-99,) could be enacted as part of the much larger National Defense Authorization Act for FY 2013. This bill is scheduled to go to a conference in the near future before its final passage by the House and Senate. Please click here to learn more about the bill. For an update from the American Institute of Physics on the status of the bill, please click here.

November 2012: Update on U.S. Helium Program and U.S. Production of 99-Molybdenum
The American Institute of Physics has a press release regarding the U.S. Helium Program and U.S. Production of 99-Molybdenum. It includes a discussion of a recent report by the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Department of the Interior, recent hearings in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, the "Energy Critical Elements Advancement Act", and the production of 99-Mo via a linear accelerator. Please click here to read the AIP press release.

November 2012: Bidding Closed for He3 Auction
Bidding has closed for the Fall 2012 He3 Auction. For more details on the auction, please see our page http://isotopes.gov/he-3auction2012.

October - November 2012: He3 Auction -- Bids Now Accepted
Bids are now being accepted for the DOE auction of Helium-3 gas. All valid bids to purchase He-3 gas must be received by the U.S. Department of Energy no later than 5 PM, local prevailing time (Washington, DC) on November 14, 2012. To submit a bid, and to see more information on the auction, please see our page http://isotopes.gov/he-3auction2012.

September 2012: He3 Auction in Fall 2012
DOE is now accepting questions regarding an Invitation for Bids for a Helium-3 auction in Fall 2012. All questions must be submitted to the email address He3auction@science.doe.gov no later than 5 PM on October 23, 2012. DOE will respond to all questions by 5 PM, October 26, 2012. DOE will post all questions received and their corresponding answers on the web page http://isotopes.gov/he-3auction2012. The identity of the stakeholder posing the question will be kept anonymous and will not be posted on that web page.

Please click here for more general information about the supply of 3He in the U.S.

July 2012: DOE Early Career Research Program
The DOE Funding Announcements for the 2012 Early Career Research Program are now available at http://science.energy.gov/early-career/ .

The schedule is as follows:
Due date for Pre-applications:    6-Sep-12, 5 pm eastern time
Encourage/Discourage Decisions:    4-Oct-12
Due date for Proposals:    26-Nov-12, 5 pm eastern time

Note that preapplications from everyone and lab proposals from DOE national laboratories must be submitted directly in the Portfolio Analysis and Management System (PAMS) this year. That means all Principal Investigators MUST register and create accounts in PAMS. Interested PIs are encouraged to register right away. Registration information is in the solicitations and FAQs. Due times are 5 pm this year (instead of the usual 11:59 pm) to take advantage of the PAMS help desk hours.

March 2012: Survey Form for Private Sector on Future Isotope Needs
The NIDC is requesting that companies complete and submit this survey form and return to Wolfgang Runde [runde@lanl.gov] by March 30, 2012. Information should be submitted even if the potential need for an isotope is somewhat uncertain for the coming years. If a specific isotope is not identified or requested by anyone, it may not be considered for production or production development by the IDPRA during fiscal years 2012-2016. For more information see our Newsletters page.

For additional news, please visit our News Archive page and our Newsletter page.

Please send any suggestions for news items to isotopes@ornl.gov.