Harvesting isotopes from beam stops and other activated materials at accelerator facilities is a promising source of environmentally, scientifically and socially important radionuclides. At the Facility for Rare Isotope Beams (FRIB), a multitude of short- and long-lived radionuclides will be collected in a synergistic manner by dumping unused beams into a flowing-water beam stop. Ongoing exploratory research at the National Superconducting Cyclotron Laboratory (NSCL) with an analogous beam blocker aims towards obtaining the necessary radiochemical expertise for this endeavor.
Herein we present a beam blocker and an isotope harvesting system which allows collection of a wide variety of aqueous and gaseous radionuclides. The water which flows through the beam blocker functions as an isotope production target and concurrently transports the newly formed radionuclides to collection sites. The system includes analytical instruments for online measurements of conductivity, dissolved oxygen, temperature, pressure and for detection of radiolytic products. To limit the levels of radiolytically produced hydrogen peroxide, a stainless-steel based degradation system was designed and implemented. The suitability of the constructed system for the anticipated radionuclide harvesting project was demonstrated by offline tests and under irradiation with 140 MeV/u 48Ca20＋ ions at the NSCL Coupled Cyclotron Facility.