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Design selection for second-generation electron-photon converter in view of photonuclear 225Ac production

The project is related to the photonuclear production of 225Ac by PanTera, the joint-venture of SCK CEN and IBA. To produce 225Ac, an electron beam is sent onto the electron-gamma converter. In that converter, the electrons create photons through bremsstrahlung. These photons then irradiate a 226Ra target to produce 225Ac.


The proposed thesis focuses on the electron-gamma converter. The best conversion efficiency is obtained using high-Z materials (W, Ta, Mo, LBE e.g.). As the converter is subject to high local power density for relatively long periods (several days), it must be cooled (water, pressurized He).

Different designs for the converter and targets were already identified by SCK CEN in its report “Targets for photonuclear production of radionuclides_Internal report - I - SCK CEN.docx”. The proposed work will investigate promising designs of the converter and select the most efficient one(s) through MCNPX and thermal simulations.

The minimum diploma level of the candidate needs to be

  • Master of sciences
  • Master of sciences in engineering

The candidate needs to have a background in

  • Other

Estimated duration

9 months

Expert group

Secondments - providing services

SCK CEN Mentor

Van den Berghe Sven
svdbergh [at]
+32 (0)14 33 88 26

SCK CEN Co-mentor

Van den Berghe Sven
svdbergh [at]
+32 (0)14 33 88 26