Industrial radionuclide generators: a potential step towards accelerating radiotracer investigations in industry
The novel use of industrial radionuclide generators (IRG) ensures onsite availability of short-lived radionuclides and is expected to contribute significantly to industrial radiotracer investigations. While IRG technology is in its infancy, the use of generator-derived radioisotopes is expected to have broad potential impact on industrial radiotracer investigations. The optimal combination of suitable IRGs and appropriate radiotracer agents will form the basis of such industrial radiotracer investigations. Development of IRGs customized for specific applications is currently under development and the utility of such systems is expected to pave the way for a variety of industry related applications in the areas of residence time distribution (RTD) study, flow rate measurement, leak detection, etc. In this review, we discuss the principles of radionuclide generators, assess major parent/daughter pairs of interest for IRG, and identify the expected utility of potentially useful IRGs. Availability of the parent radionuclides required for IRG fabrication is an important criterion and hence their production is also reviewed. This overview outlines a critical assessment of recent developments, the contemporary status, and key challenges and apertures to the near future. Increase in the knowledge and use of IRGs utilizing available resources will encourage expanded use of these systems for expected future industrial radiotracer studies.