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BY-NC-ND 3.0 license Open Access Published by De Gruyter (O) April 15, 2014

Development of radiochemistry in Pakistan – 1960 to 2010

J. H. Zaidi EMAIL logo , M. Wasim , M. Arif and A. Mushtaq
From the journal Radiochimica Acta


With the inception of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) in 1956, peaceful uses of atomic energy commenced for the benefit of scientific community as well as masses of Pakistan. Radiochemistry played a vital role right from the beginning. The research and development in this field accelerated soon after the criticality of the first research reactor named as Pakistan Research Reactor (PARR- 1) at the Pakistan Institute of Nuclear Science and Technology (PINSTECH), Islamabad. The first radioisotope produced at PARR-1 for application in nuclear medicine was 131I. Later on, many other radioisotopes were prepared and radiopharmaceuticals were synthesised for their use in industry and hospitals. Besides providing pure radioactive tracers for nuclear medicine, radiochemistry also enhanced the detection limit of impurities at all stages of nuclear fuel cycle for power generation. In 1983, research in the field of nuclear data measurement began. The main aim was to identify suitable conditions for the production of radionuclides for cancer diagnostics, treatment and therapy. With the establishment of a second research reactor (PARR-2) at PINSTECH, research in neutron activation analysis, radioisotope production and separation studies gained more momentum and many research articles were published. Solvent extraction, adsorption and ion-exchange were the main routes of separation in those studies. Separation of heavy metals and treatment of waste generated in a nuclear power plant are other important aspects related to environmental restoration and nuclear waste management, where radiochemistry is required. In future, work in radiochemistry will be continued on similar lines to develop novel radiopharmaceuticals, identify indigenous schemes for nuclear waste management and work out intelligent procedures for material characterization for benefit to mankind, especially the people of Pakistan.

Published Online: 2014-4-15
Published in Print: 2012-8-1

©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License, which permits unrestricted non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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