Technetium-99m is a radiopharmaceutical currently used in 85% of all diagnostic imaging procedures. The relative long lived parent isotope of technetium-99m is molybdenum-99, which is commonly produced by irradiating highly enriched uranium. In accordance with the Department of Energy: National Nuclear Security Administration’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative an effort is underway to develop low enriched uranium based molybdenum-99 production concepts. Achieving comparable molybdenum-99 yields in a low enriched uranium target effectively mandates the use of a high density metal low enriched uranium foil. Using a foil requires a significant modification to the current highly enriched uranium dispersion target designs. One design concept uses a low enriched uranium foil sandwiched between either two flat or curved aluminum plates. The low enriched uranium is enclosed in the sandwiched structure by welding the aluminum plates together about their edges. The plate design is inspired by low enriched uranium fuel plates with the exception that the low enriched uranium is not bonded to the aluminum plates nor is it necessary to clamp the plate edges to prevent lateral translation. The lack of bonding between the low enriched uranium foil and the plates allows easy removal of the foil after irradiation for chemically processing and separation. The un-heated edges of the plate target produce three-dimensional temperature gradients inducing deformations and stress. This paper will review the thermal mechanical response of a low enriched uranium foil based molybdenum-99 production target. This study describes the effect of various curvatures, thermal loads, and heat transfer coefficients on the thermal-induced deflection and stress.

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