Systems produce desired isotopes through irradiation in nuclear reactor instrumentation tubes and deposit the same in a robust facility for immediate shipping, handling, and/or consumption. Irradiation targets are inserted and removed through inaccessible areas without plant shutdown and placed in the harvesting facility, such as a plurality of sealable and shipping-safe casks and/or canisters. Systems may connect various structures in a sealed manner to avoid release of dangerous or unwanted matter throughout the nuclear plant, and/or systems may also automatically decontaminate materials to be released. Useable casks or canisters can include plural barriers for containment that are temporarily and selectively removable with specially-configured paths inserted therein. Penetrations in the facilities may limit waste or pneumatic gas escape and allow the same to be removed from the systems without over-pressurization or leakage. Methods include processing irradiation targets through such systems and securely delivering them in such harvesting facilities.
This invention was made with Government support under contract number DE-FC52-09NA29626, awarded by the U.S. Department of Energy. The Government has certain rights in the invention.