Saw some new presentations from recent conferences at Texas A&M and FUSHE2012. A few key points:
1. Radioactive Ion Beams (RIB) are not going to be intense enough in the near term to produce more neutron rich elements with Z>110. Could be used to produce heavier isotopes of lighter transactinides.
2. Elements 119-120 might be the last to be discovered in the near future for two reasons: Decrease in cross-section due to moving away from Ca-48 as a projectile (elements beyond Cf and too short lived and cannot be produced in enough quanitity to be used as target material). potentional of lifetimes of Z>120 to be less that 1 microsecond, which is not long enough to reach the detector prior to decay.
3. Pulsed reactors could potentially be used to bypass the "Fm-258" block when it comes to simply adding neutrons to reach the superheavy island. Multiple nuclear explosions are also mentioned, (but there are treaties which would be a problem when it comes to using the latter option....not explicitly mentioned in the presentations)
4. Potential of getting successive EC decays into long lived superheavy nuclei. Would need new detectors as current apparatus cannot detect EC decay. This is why we cannot say for certain whether the long lived Db nuclei at the end of the Z=115 chains decay by SF or EC.
5. Talks about need to fill be gap between "cold fusion" and "hot fusion" superheavies. (i.e. Between Cn-277 and Cn-281, etc.)
New data from facilities:
1. Total of 31 chains from 115-288 known. All decay by alpha to Db-268
2. Second 115-287 chain. We now have a half-life value for Db-271 of 1.2 seconds (from 1 atom as the first chain from a few years ago missed the alpha decay of this nuclide).
3. Three new 115-289 chains. All Z=115 chains are from Dubna
4. RIKEN: 5th Cn-277 chain. Also trying for 3rd 113-278 chain.