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Curium Production


Curium is produced by bombarding plutonium and americium in nuclear reactors. Large quantities of 242Cm with minute impurities is prepared by exposing 241Am to thermal (slow) neutrons. A mixture of isotopes with mass numbers 244-248 is the product of such irradiation; if the integral neutron flux is low the reaction yields 244Cm and 248Cm if the flow is very intensive. Milligram quantities of 248Cm can be extracted from 252Cf old samples. Curium isotopes are isolated via extraction, sorption and precipitation. Curium metal may be produced by through CmF3 reduction by Barium vapours at 1275°C or via CmO2 reduction by Mg-Zn alloy at 900°C in the presence of magnesium chloride - magnesium fluorine as a flux.

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