China makes breakthrough in obtaining kilogram-level molybdenum isotope
Published: Oct 26, 2023 11:54 PM
Photo: Screenshot from China National Nuclear Corporation's official website

Photo: Screenshot from China National Nuclear Corporation's official website

China has achieved a major breakthrough in obtaining kilogram-level abundance 99 percent molybdenum-100 isotope for the first time, marking a significant milestone in the independent supply of key materials for molybdenum isotopes in China. There are numerous application prospects, including medicine, basic physics and other fields, its developer, China National Nuclear Corporation (CNNC), said on Thursday.   

China used to be dependent on imports of molybdenum isotopes, but this breakthrough changes that situation. It means China has reached the world's leading level in the field of high-abundance stable isotope research and has become one of the few countries in the world that can obtain molybdenum isotopes in bulk, CNNC said in a release posted on its official website.

Molybdenum isotopes can be used in advanced nuclear fuel and other research fields. In the sector of nuclear medicine, the high-abundance molybdenum-98 and molybdenum-100 isotopes are pre-nuclides for production of the radioactive isotope molybdenum-99, which is currently the most widely used diagnostic radionuclide in nuclear medicine, according to CNNC.   

It is also of great significance to explore the fundamental properties of neutrinos and to reveal the evolution process of the universe in the field of fundamental physics, as well as greatly improving the safety performance of nuclear fuel components in the sector of advanced nuclear fuel research, according to CNNC.

The research was based on nearly 30 years of R&D experience, which has filled the gap in the domestic technology field. It also lays a solid foundation for protecting people's health, promoting scientific and technological progress, and improving the safety of nuclear power.