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Choosing the Right Californium-252 Supplier

Discovered in 1950 by scientists in UC Berkeley’s Radiation Laboratory, Californium-252 (Cf-252) has the second-highest atomic mass of all produced elements and is very radioactive. It is the only isotope to spontaneously emit neutrons, and these neutrons can be used in nuclear reactor start-ups, material scanners, and oil well logging.

The neutron-emitting qualities of Cf-252 have also proven useful in cancer treatments and the creation of new elements, adding to our understanding of what is possible in elemental science. Californium-252 is valuable in a variety of private industry, government, and academic research projects, as well as for military defense applications.

Cf-252 can be dangerous to the end user or during shipping if not handled with the appropriate precautions, so it’s important to work with a supplier that can verify adherence to all safety, government, and industry regulations and standards. In this eBook, we will discuss the most important factors to consider when choosing a supplier for all your Cf-252 needs.

Customer-Tailored Sources

Cf-252 can be used in a broad range of industries and applications, but there’s no one-sizefits-all source solution. Many Cf-252 suppliers create large batches of the element and sell them off in large quantities, forcing buyers to tailor their needs to the resulting source, as opposed to the source being tailored to them. A customer-centric source production will instead focus on the needs, specifications, and requirements of each individual customer. By choosing a supplier that produces Cf-252 per request, you’ll get a source that is much more fitting for your particular industry or purpose. Depending on your unique Cf-252 requirements, you may require a different capsule length, capsule material, or application. Without the option to create a custom source, you’ll be pushed to adapt your specifications to someone else’s design, preferences, and production schedule. Frontier Technology Corporation (FTC) tailors our Cf-252 sources to the submitted specifications. We can custom-fabricate a range of source sizes, quantities, and transport materials to meet your application’s needs. FTC’s custom sources include variations such as handling rods, pigtails, cables, lanyards, and more. We are able to customize wall thicknesses, integration points, and source capsule holders as well. We use 304L stainless steel, Zircaloy-2, and platinum in capsule fabrication, and other alloys. Our Model 10 and Model 100 sources provide examples of the high quality you can expect from FTC.

Secure Worldwide Shipping

Once the Californium-252 source is created according to your exact specifications, the necessary next step would be to ensure that a secure shipping plan is in place. This plan needs to adhere to the strict guidelines and laws that regulate the transport of radioactive elements, especially if it would be an international delivery.


Holding the correct licensure is a non-negotiable for Cf-252 suppliers, especially for international shipments. FTC holds the RAM license for its domestic customers and ships internationally under the NRC General License, and works with each customer to make sure that there are no documentation or Customs surprises (or delays) along the way. With these licenses, we can reach customers all over the world in an efficient manner.


While strict adherence to shipping regulations ensures that sources cannot harm anyone or anything in transit, it is also essential to protect the sources themselves against any potential damage during the transportation process. High-quality packaging materials keep the source’s condition intact as it moves from the supplier to its destination.

FTC fabricates our own Type-A shipping containers to shield each of our shipped sources. Designing and fabricating these containers in-house ensures that every container meets not only international shipping requirements, but also our own rigorous standards for source protection. FTC assists each customer with packaging selection, making recommendations to guarantee each shipment adheres with legal transport index requirements while also taking into account the requested external radiation levels.

Cf-252 packaging should take the following factors into consideration:

Cf-252 Packaging

FTC’s container sizes range from the 5 Gallon Model 50240 to a myriad of custom shipping containers available for rental. We can also add custom layers of shielding within existing shipping containers and packages.

Hassle-Free Depleted Source Returns

Responsible suppliers of radioactive materials will provide a means to carefully dispose of depleted sources. A supplier should not only create sources, but also take accountability for receiving and disposing of them as well. An option to return depleted sources would mean that new sources can be installed seamlessly.

At FTC, we accept depleted or return sources at no cost to the customer other than for shipping. Returning the materials is a simple process of either sending the depleted source back in a new source’s shipping container or requesting an appropriate shipping container to be furnished by FTC.

Suppliers are not required to provide return and disposal services, so not every company will have the same policy. We offer return and disposal services as a commitment to responsible source production.

Cf-252 As You Need It

A tailored approach, utmost safety, and efficiency should all be part of your Cf-252 order experience. To ensure that is the case, select a supplier who offers sources that can be created exactly towards your needs, can be shipped safely and under the correct licenses worldwide, and that feature the option to return depleted sources. These factors will guarantee the integrity of the product as well as your own peace of mind.

FTC stands by our commitment to supply Cf-252 responsibly to a wide variety of industries, including academic research, nuclear, oil and petrochemical, military and defense, and more. To discover how FTC can deliver on your Cf-252 needs, request a quote today!

The Value of Oil Well and Borehole Logging

Oil well and borehole logging documents information about the geologic formations penetrated by new boreholes. This process comes with many benefits, helping drillers to gather valuable data that they could not otherwise obtain without taking costly core samples.

This process has come a long way since its birth in the early 1800s, when well loggers had to scale derricks to record information by hand. Today, oil well and borehole logging uses state-of-the-art computer technology to gather robust and useful data for accurate decision making.

Frontier Technology Corporation is a leading neutron source provider within the oil well and borehole logging process. We manufacture Californium-252 neutron sources used to test the properties of geologic formations, helping to gather data about the best way to extract hydrocarbons in each location.

What is Oil Well and Borehole Logging and How Does It Work?

The oil well and borehole logging process starts with the insertion of specialized instruments into boreholes to determine the properties of the surrounding geological formations. After digging the borehole to around 100 feet, drillers lower a cable with the logging tools into the hole.

The lowered cable electronically transmits information to a central processor that collects it in a standardized log sheet. This data reveals the borehole’s lithological classifications as well as important chemical, physical, and structural properties. Geologists the use this information log to make predictions about the borehole and how to safely and efficiently proceed with drilling.

Logging tools come in many shapes and sizes. Drillers can attach special tools that assess the boreholes:

  • Resistivity
  • Natural gamma properties
  • Electromagnetic induction
  • Spontaneous potential
  • Deviation
  • Temperature
  • Heat pulse flow meter
  • Acoustic and optical properties
  • Downhole seismic properties

Borehole logging also uses instruments such as video cameras, three-arm calipers, televiewers, and ground-penetrating radar to assess well conditions.

Benefits of Oil Well and Borehole Logging

Implementing a good oil well and borehole logging plan saves you time and money. Without tools that can monitor conditions directly in the hole, you can only gather information about your well by costly core examination.

Oil well and borehole logging records and examines data relating to:

  • Strata types including limestone, sandstone, and shale
  • Permeability, presence of liquids, and porosity
  • Structural weaknesses and the risk of cave-ins
  • Borehole dimensional properties including the hole’s shape, size, and trajectory
  • Properties of fluids present in the borehole, such as pressure, salinity, and saturation
  • The feasibility of gas and oil extraction

Using neutron emission sources including Californium-252, the oil and gas industry can learn more about the borehole’s quality and nuclear characteristics. This enables drillers to better assess the possibilities of hydrocarbon extraction.

Working with Frontier

Frontier Technology Corporation’s Cf-252 sources are manufactured and encapsulated following a strict quality assurance program, ensuring they meet or exceed industry standards. All of our sources are fully capable of withstanding the high temperatures and pressures characteristic of deep wells.

To learn more about our Cf-252 neutron emission sources and how they can benefit your well logging application, contact us and request a quote today.

The Advantages of Nuclear Energy

Nuclear energy offers a variety of positive attributes that benefit a wide range of industries.

Before discussing the advantages of nuclear energy, it’s important to understand what it is and how it can be harnessed as an energy source. It’s also helpful to know how it compares with other energy sources in terms of costliness, environmental impact, and stability. In this post, we examine some of the benefits nuclear energy can offer.

The Advantages of Nuclear Energy

Nuclear power results from nuclear fusion or fission produced by modifying materials on an atomic scale. Generally operating on uranium or plutonium, nuclear energy bombards heavy metals with neurons to spark fission or fusion processes that create thermal energy. This thermal energy heats water into steam, which spins turbines to create electricity.

On December 20, 1951, the United States developed the use of nuclear power for electric applications for the first time in Arco, Idaho. Today, there are currently 60 operating nuclear power plants with 98 reactors in the U.S., spread over 30 states. The U.S. is the leading national producer, producing over 30% of the world’s nuclear power.

As an energy source, nuclear energy offers many advantages, including:


Nuclear power plants incur low operational costs because they rely on relatively simple operations. Additionally, nuclear plants only need to refuel every 18–24 months, meaning that fluctuating fuel prices affect them less than more volatile industries like oil and natural gas. Heavy metals like uranium, nuclear power’s main energy source, appear throughout the world and are only needed in small amounts, meaning that they also cost less.

Environmentally Friendly

Compared with other types of energy, nuclear power stands out as an environmentally friendly energy source. Nuclear power generates clean energy by bombarding uranium with neutrons as opposed to burning fossil fuels.

Nuclear reactors do not produce direct carbon dioxide emissions, and any indirectly produced emissions have negligible impacts on the environment. In addition, most nuclear waste has a fairly low level of radioactivity.

Requires Low Amounts of Fuel

Heavy metals have higher energy densities than fossil fuels. This means that smaller quantities of nuclear fuel provide greater amounts of energy than comparable amounts of other materials. Because of this, nuclear plants require fewer resources spent on acquiring and storing fuel.


You can pair nuclear energy with other renewable forms of energy such as wind and solar. However, on its own, nuclear energy provides a more stable form of energy than wind and solar power because nuclear power plants can operate in any environmental condition.

Nuclear power plants rarely pause their operations because they do not rely on external factors to operate efficiently. This makes nuclear power one of the most reliable energy options available.

High Degree of Safety

As technology continues to advance, nuclear energy is becoming an increasingly safe and stable option for energy production. As Bill Gates said, “Nuclear energy, in terms of an overall safety record, is better than other energy.”

Safety is paramount at every U.S. nuclear power plant, and every facility incorporates a well-developed and much-tested set of safety procedures. In nuclear power’s history as an energy source, there have only been three major incidents worldwide. While these incidents generated a large amount of media coverage and attention, they happened against the backdrop of over 60 years of nuclear production, totaling more than 17,000 cumulative reactor years of safe nuclear power production in 33 nations.

Industries Benefiting From Nuclear Power

Nuclear energy touches multiple industries, including (but not limited to):

  • The medical sector, which uses radiation to diagnose and treat diseases such as cancer
  • Food and agriculture, which uses radiation to genetically modify crops
  • Consumer product, which relies on radioisotopes
  • A wide range of industrial applications, which are fueled by nuclear power

Revolutionize Your Industry with Nuclear Energy

Nuclear energy has multiple benefits associated with it. It touches dozens of industries and sectors and comes with a versatile range of uses.

Frontier Technology Corporation offers an extensive product line for various nuclear applications. To request a quote for your nuclear energy application needs, contact us today!