Californium-252 (Cf-252) is one of 20 known isotopes of the element Californium. It is highly radioactive, with a half-life of 2.645 years and emits large amounts of neutrons. 一微克(μg)的Cf-252释放2.3 million neutrons per second; therefore, most applications require very tiny pieces of the isotope. Because of its radioactivity, Cf-252 must be carefully encapsulated for safety. An encapsulated piece of Cf-252 is referred to as a “neutron source.”

Cf-252 is used in a number of applications due to its radioactive properties, including Portable Isotopic Neutron Spectroscopy (PINS), 提示伽马中子活化分析 (PGNAA), 扫描仪, 反应堆启动棒, 和更多的.


作为人造元素, Californium is not found in nature and must be produced in nuclear reactors and particle accelerators. Californium was first produced in 1950 at the University of California’s Radiation Laboratory in Berkeley by bombarding a microgram of curium-242 with alpha particles.

Today the world’s supply of Cf-252 is made at two facilities: Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee and 研究 Institute of Atomic Reactors in Dimitrovgrad, 俄罗斯.

Production at ORNL is a three-step process:


Pellets of curium oxide are placed in the High Flux Isotope Reactor and bombarded with neutron flux, starting the process of beta decay that results in a mix of Cf-252 and other materials.


The Cf-252 mixture is transferred to a Radiochemical Engineering Development Center hot cell facility to separate and purify the Cf-252. This step takes place in a specialized ion exchange column in which the Cf-252 is flushed through resin until it is fully purified.


Using a chemical process called combined precipitation, a solid precipitate of Cf-252 and palladium is made. 然后干燥成氧化物粉末, 压缩成颗粒, and finally melted and rolled into thin wire (less than 1/10 inch in diameter). The wire is cut into shorter lengths before being encapsulated, 净化, 泄漏测试, 运送给Cf-252供应商, 例如联邦贸易委员会.


在前沿科技公司, we provide customers with Cf-252 neutron sources that are single- or double-encapsulated in stainless steel or Zircaloy-2 capsules. These capsules are sealed by TIG welding and further protected with specialized shielding materials and 运输ed in Type-A shipping containers.

To ensure safety and contain potentially hazardous radiation during preparation, 运输, 储存Cf-252, 使用高质量是至关重要的, reliable shielding methods and materials


Radioactive materials require specific types of packaging depending on the quantity and concentration of radioactivity. Our CF-252 neutron sources are shipped in Type-A shipping containers, which provide secure shipping for external radiation levels that do not exceed the legal shipping limits of 200 mRem/hour at the container surface or 10 mRem/hour at 1 meter away from these surfaces.

We offer standard and customized Type-A shipping containers which utilize proprietary packing material, water-extended polyester resin (WEP) to house and protect the encapsulated neutron sources in shipping and storage. At FTC all Type-A shipping containers are designed and constructed in-house, and their quality and performance are evaluated at each step in the manufacturing process.


Neutron radiation poses significant health risks; therefore, adequate shielding is required for protection. FTC builds custom neutron shielding walls to meet our customers’ unique project and application needs in a range of industries including:

  • 军事和国防
  • 研究及实验室
  • 石油、天然气、沙子和页岩
  • 煤炭、水泥和矿产

A shield’s effectiveness comes from its ability to slow and block energized neutrons as they travel. Shielding material containing hydrogen is superior to dense material, 比如铅, because hydrogen molecules are large so the neutrons collide with them readily and slow down. Compounds with a high concentration of hydrogen atoms, 例如水和WEP, 提供出色的保护, 即使在恶劣的环境中, 以可承受的价格.

Our custom walls consist of a stainless steel outer structure with WEP inner core. They can be constructed with up to 12 inches of shielding thickness, 高达8英尺, 宽度可达6英尺. Isotope pass-through ports can also be incorporated. All of our walls are manufactured with each client’s personnel and environmental needs in mind.


FTC: A World Leader in Cf-252 Manufacturing and Design

前沿科技公司 is a world-leading Cf-252 neutron source supplier. We offer over 40 years of experience in the logistics and shipping of Cf-252.

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