Radioisotope production

Waste disposition for commercial medical isotope production

The DOE/National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is working to accelerate commercial production of the medical isotope molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) in the United States without the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU). Mo-99 ’s primary uses include the detection of disease, including heart disease and cancer, and the study of organ structure and function. The isotope’s short half-life and excellent binding properties make it uniquely suited for medical procedures. However, its 66-hour half-life prevents it from being stockpiled during periods of shortage. Mo-99 is a crucial radio­isotope used in approximately 80% of all nuclear medicine diagnostic pro­cedures and in roughly 50,000 diagnostic and therapeutic nuclear medicine procedures performed every day in the United States.

In cooperation with commercial partners and the US national laborato­ries, DOE/NNSA is supporting the US private sector in developing inde­pendent, non-HEU-based technical pathways to produce Mo-99 in the United States by 2014. The NRC or Agreement State would have to license any new commercial production facility. The expected waste streams from the production of Mo-99 are likely to include radioactive waste for which there is currently no commercial disposal path. The projects are under development, and production has not yet commenced at the time this book was written. However, disposition of specific waste and spent nuclear fuels and targets resulting from Mo-99 production could impact the technical and economic viability of each of the projects. Until a disposal path is identified, producers of this medical isotope would need to provide onsite storage.

Добавить комментарий

Ваш e-mail не будет опубликован. Обязательные поля помечены *