Yttrium-90. A funny-sounding medicine.
Yttrium-90 is an ideal medical isotope: short physical half-life (64 hours) and pure beta-emitter with a high average beta energy (934 keV), suitable as the therapeutic agent on a monoclonal antibody for targeting cancer cells or as the active ingredient in glass microspheres used in treating liver tumors. Pacific Northwest National Laboratory developed improved chemistry for producing ultra-pure yttrium-90 for medical applications. Yttrium-90 is produced by high-purity separation from strontium-90, a fission product of uranium in a nuclear reactor.
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