Reduce, reuse and recycle: A green solution to Canada's medical isotope shortage

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DOIResolve DOI: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.apradiso.2013.11.100
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TypeArticle
Journal titleApplied Radiation and Isotopes
ISSN0969-8043
AbstractDue to the unforeseen maintenance issues at the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor at Chalk River and coincidental shutdowns of other international reactors, a global shortage of medical isotopes (in particular technetium-99m, Tc-99m) occurred in 2009. The operation of these research reactors is expensive, their age creates concerns about their continued maintenance and the process results in a large amount of long-lived nuclear waste, whose storage cost has been subsidized by governments. While the NRU has since revived its operations, it is scheduled to cease isotope production in 2016. The Canadian government created the Non-reactor based medical Isotope Supply Program (NISP) to promote research into alternative methods for producing medical isotopes. The NRC was a member of a collaboration looking into the use of electron linear accelerators (LINAC) to produce molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), the parent isotope of Tc-99m. This paper outlines NRC's involvement in every step of this process, from the production, chemical processing, recycling and preliminary animal studies to demonstrate the equivalence of LINAC Tc-99m with the existing supply. This process stems from reusing an old idea, reduces the nuclear waste to virtually zero and recycles material to create a green solution to Canada's medical isotope shortage. Crown Copyright © 2013.
Publication date
LanguageEnglish
AffiliationNational Research Council Canada (NRC-CNRC)
Peer reviewedYes
NPARC number21270904
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Record identifierd4661789-2c13-4dd5-9ad4-1e663f9e9648
Record created2014-02-18
Record modified2016-05-09
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