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Brookhaven Linac Isotope Producer

One of the few facilities in the U.S. with a high-energy particle accelerator needed to produce certain critical isotopes

photo of BLIP group

The Brookhaven Linac Isotope Producer (BLIP) and the associated hot-cell complex (target processing laboratory and radiochemistry laboratories) produce isotopes—radioactive forms of chemical elements—for medical, environmental, and industrial applications. BLIP consists of a high-energy proton accelerator beamline and target area for generating radioisotopes already in high demand and for developing those required at the frontiers of nuclear medicine and for other applications.

To see how you can get involved with this facility, contact us at (631) 344-4619

Basic Research

BLIP uses its unique production and radiochemistry laboratories to perform research in the development of radioisotopes for medical research, and also industrial radioactive isotopes that are generally not available elsewhere

Applied Research

BLIP is positioned at the forefront of research into radioisotopes used in cancer treatment and diagnosis, producing commercially unavailable radioisotopes for use by the medical community and related industries. Among the isotopes produced are: Strontium-82, used for heart stress tests; Germanium-68, used to diagnose and track patients’ response to cancer treatments; and new experimental isotopes such as Actinium-225, which shows great promise in the treatment of cancer.

BLIP’s energetic proton beams can also be used to explore the effects of radiation on novel materials under consideration for next-generation nuclear reactors and high-power particle accelerators. By studying how proton irradiation affects materials (including different grades of beryllium and graphite, carbon fibers and silicon-carbon fiber composites, and super alloys and steels), and assessing the damage using the bright x-ray beams at Brookhaven Lab’s National Synchrotron Light Source II, scientists can determine the crucial properties and ideal materials needed to withstand the extreme environments of next-generation reactors and accelerators. BLIP can also generate fluxes of fast neutrons for similar materials science studies relevant to the design of fusion and fast neutron reactors.

Test Facilities and Expertise

The BLIP group has expertise in designing targets, producing and separating radioisotopes, analytical characterization, handling and processing large quantities of radionuclides, shipping radioactive materials, and the development of Good Manufacturing Practices required by the FDA for production of radioisotopes used in humans, which includes quality control and analysis.

Workforce Development

In addition to the educational internships and workforce development programs offered across disciplines at Brookhaven Lab, BLIP hosts an annual National Nuclear Chemistry Summer School. This program consists of lectures on the fundamentals of nuclear science, radiochemistry, and their applications in related fields. Laboratory work introduces students to state-of-the-art instrumentation and technology routinely used in basic and applied nuclear science. The course includes guest lectures and tours of nearby research centers and applied nuclear sites such as nuclear power plants and, sometimes, a nuclear submarine base. BLIP also offers opportunities for independent research in topics such as radioisotope production, separations, and target development for faculty, undergraduate, and graduate students. For further details contact Cathy Cutler.