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High-volume production of Mo-99 appears feasible with low-grade uranium

January 20, 2009 High-volume production of Mo-99 appears feasible with low-grade uranium By James Brice -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A National Research Council panel has concluded that commercial volumes of molybdenum-99 can be produced cost-effectively with low-enriched uranium. Mo-99 is the precursor of technetium-99m, a radioisotope used in most nuclear imaging procedures. The finding establishes a framework for weaning manufacturers of their reliance on nuclear bomb-grade uranium for Mo-99 production. The 13-member Committee on Medical Isotope Production without Enriched Uranium determined that conversion to low-enriched uranium (LEU) is feasible without boosting production costs by more than 10%, a goal set by Congress when it ordered the committee's formation. The report found that conversion is possible at Chalk River, ON, and Petten, the Netherlands, the two main sources of Mo-99 used in the U.S. It also suggests, however, that generating the local political will to make conversions will be challenging.

See full article and related articles at DiagnosticImaging.com
This article was republished with permission from CMPMedica, LLC

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