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Isotope Program

Isotopes produced at Los Alamos National Laboratory are saving lives, advancing cutting-edge research and keeping the U.S. safe.

Contact Us  

  • Program Manager
  • Dr. Kirk Rector
  • 505-606-8012
  • Email

Isotope production and applications


Isotopes produced at IPF are critical for medical diagnosis and disease treatment. These positron emission tomography images were made possible using isotopes produced at LANL.

The LANL Isotope Program utilizes unique capabilities to produce radioisotopes that are in short supply. The Isotope Production Facility (IPF), a 100 MeV proton bombardment station located at the Los Alamos Neutron Science Center (LANSCE), is a premier facility able to conduct high current irradiations for large scale production, as well as delicate, low current experimental work. The Program also maintains a robust hot cell facility for isotope processing, as well as a glovebox line within the LANL plutonium facility.

Los Alamos National Laboratory Isotope Program receives funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Isotope R&D and Production Program (DOE Isotope Program), managed by the Office of Science, as part of a suite of national laboratories and universities focused on isotope R&D and production. The mission of the DOE Isotope Program is to produce and distribute stable and radioactive isotopes for research and applications that are in short supply and critical to the prosperity and security of the Nation. The DOE Isotope Program supports isotope production, R&D on isotope production techniques, workforce development, and reduction of U.S. dependency on foreign supply chains.

Those interested in purchasing stable or radioactive isotopes from the DOE Isotope Program should contact the National Isotope Development Center.

LANL-produced isotopes for medical, industrial & research applications

  • Actinium-225 (225Ac), used for targeted alpha therapy (TAT)
  • Americium-241 (241Am), used in smoke detector and for oil/gas exploration
  • Sodium-22 (22Na), used as a source for positron emission tomography
  • Arsenic-73 (73As), used for environmental research
  • Additional isotopes can be produced on demand

We have partnered with the TRIUMF facility to receive irradiated targets that are processed for aluminum-26 (26Al) and silicon-32 (32Si).

Description of R&D Activities

The LANL Isotope Program is also engaged in the development of new isotopes for application in the fields of medicine, fundamental nuclear physics, national security, environmental science and industrial applications. Los Alamos National Laboratory possesses a unique combination of facilities and staff expertise that enable the production, purification and distribution of a variety of isotopes and associated applications.

See current list of publications and local/national news highlights for more details.