If you can’t stand the heat
Strictly speaking, the SMART project (Source of MedicAl RadioisoTopes) is not Big Science, but the collaboration of over 25 re-search institutes and high-tech companies working on a revolutionary technology for the production of radioisotope 99Mo is definitely impressive.
The technology comprises a large electron accelerator and huge irradiation and extraction facilities. At the heart of the system is a match-box-sized target that is irradiated by a 3-MW electron beam. Alongside the radiative load on the target and exposure unit, the heat load on the target is among the key challenges of the SMART project. This Mikroniek article describes the development by Demcon of an ‘exotic’ solution: cooling with liquid sodium. (Image courtesy of IRE).