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Our industrial applications

Urenco Stable Isotopes is continuously developing products for industrial use within the nuclear, non-destructive testing and semiconductor industries. 

Nuclear industry

The addition of zinc greatly reduces corrosion processes, including stress corrosion cracking. Furthermore, the added zinc reduces the amount of radioactive cobalt60 formed as a result of the activation of natural cobalt in the construction materials of the reactor.

cobalt60 is a major contributor to radiation build-up in the cooling systems and therefore also causes elevated dose rates in maintenance personnel. If natural zinc is injected, zinc64 forms the radioactive zinc65 which negates the beneficial reduction of the cobalt60 level. If the zinc64 isotope is removed prior to injection into the cooling system, full advantage can be taken from the cobalt60 level reduction and the average dose rates are substantially reduced.

We provide large quantities of depleted zinc64 to nuclear plants in the form of depleted zinc oxide (DZO) pellets or powder for BWRs, and depleted zinc acetate (DZA) for PWRs.

Nuclear industry image Nuclear industry image

Non-destructive testing

Non-destructive testing  is often performed with gamma cameras. Several gamma sources are in use, with iridium192 sources being the most common ones. Iridium192 sources with high specific activity can only be produced from enriched iridium191 as a precursor.

Selenium75 sources have a slightly softer gamma spectrum and these are typically used for thin walled products. The radioisotope selenium75 is produced from enriched Selenium74. We supply both enriched iridium191 and selenium74.

Semiconductor production image Semiconductor production image

Semiconductor production

Within the semiconductor industry, the search for improvementy, and therefore new developments, is given the highest priority. We are constantly looking for opportunities to contribute to these developments.

Germanium tetrafluoride (GeF4) is used in the semiconductor industry for the pre-amorphisation implant process. The use of GeF4 enriched in the isotope germanium72 improves this process and increases the beam current. We supply GeF4 enriched in germanium72, tailored to specific customer requirements.

Silicon is known for its widespread use in the semiconductor industry. In the race to build quantum computers—machines that should offer immense processing power by exploiting the oddities of quantum mechanics – silicon enriched in Si28 is used in various R&D projects.


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