Japanese research institute prevails in bid to name synthetic, highly radioactive element 113

A world scientific body says Japanese scientists have met the criteria for naming a new element, the synthetic highly radioactive element 113.

The U.S.-based International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry said Thursday that researchers at the Riken institute had conclusively identified and earned the right to name the element. It provisionally was named ununtrium. The new name wasn't immediately disclosed.

A joint working group of the IUPAC and International Union of Pure and Applied Physics were due to announce decisions on naming rights to elements 113, 115, 117 and 118 in January.

Element 113 sits between copernicium and flerovium on the periodic table. A joint team of scientists in Russia and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in the U.S. also were vying for naming rights for 113.