Frontier Technology Corporation designs and fabricates cold-pressed antimony-beryllium (SbBe) pellets for nuclear start-up rod assemblies used in applications such as:

Antimony-Beryllium Pellets
  • SMR/nuclear reactor start up rods
  • Neutron activation analysis (NAA)
  • Nuclear chain reaction initiation
  • Restarting a reactor after it has been down and its neutron sources have decayed

All pellets are manufactured per user-supplied specifications for diameter, length, and width. Frontier can accommodate prototype-to-production volume.

Our advanced manufacturing processes follow guidelines set by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Ohio Department of Health (ODH), U.S. Department of Transportation, and ISO 2919.

What Is Antimony-Beryllium (Sb-Be)?

Antimony-beryllium (Sb-Be) is commonly used as a secondary source of neutron emission in conjunction with a primary source that spontaneously emits neutrons, such as californium-252 (Cf-252).

Sb-Be consists of two elements:

  • Antimony (Sb) – a relatively rare, lustrous semi-metallic element that is not naturally radioactive
  • Beryllium (Be) – a rare, divalent element that is strong and brittle

Neither emits neutrons on its own naturally; however, they can be combined into a compound that does. The antimony is irradiated, causing it to emit gamma rays, and combined with beryllium. The gamma rays then cause the beryllium to emit neutrons. This process causes the Sb-Be material to become radioactive.

Advantages of Antimony-Beryllium (Sb-Be) Pellets

Antimony-beryllium pellets offer these advantages over other neutron sources:

  • They absorb radiation, making it faster to reduce radiation in the reactor for repairs, maintenance, or removing and replacing fuel rods
  • They can act as a neutron source to initiate fission and restart the reactor after maintenance 
  • They can be used to restart a reactor after it has been down and the neutron sources have decayed

Choose Antimony-Beryllium (Sb-Be) Pellets From Frontier Technology Corporation

We are dedicated to providing our customers with superior quality, cost-effective nuclear solutions. To learn more about antimony-beryllium pellets or about our neutron sources, Type-A radioactive shipping containers, and shielding solutions, please contact us or request a quote.