Mo-99 supply bill passes House subcommittee
Article Thumbnail ImageOctober 21, 2009 -- A bill to help fund production of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) in the U.S. and gradually eliminate the export of highly enriched uranium has taken another step toward possible passage.
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  • The U.S. House subcommittee on energy and the environment on October 14 passed the American Medical Isotopes Production Act, sending the bill to the full Committee on Energy and Commerce for a vote.

    HR 3276 would allocate $163 million to support projects for the production of molybdenum-99 without using highly enriched uranium in the process. The bill also prohibits export of highly enriched uranium from the U.S. for medical isotope production seven years after the bill becomes law.

    The bill was amended by U.S. Rep. Edward Markey (D-MA), who also serves as subcommittee chairman, to stipulate that other medical isotopes, including iodine-131 and xenon-133, be produced as byproducts of the molybdenum-99 fission production process.

    The bill designates the Secretary of Energy to determine which projects are worthy of funding. The criteria would be based on the time it would take for the applicant to begin molybdenum-99 production for medical uses, the ability to satisfy a significant percentage of U.S. demand for molybdenum-99, and the cost of the proposed project.

    The bill also would require annual reports from the Department of Energy (DoE) for six years on the DoE's support of U.S. molybdenum-99 production.

    Related Reading

    AECL: Chalk River repair will cost $70M, October 20, 2009

    SNM: Nuclear medicine tests being postponed, September 9, 2009

    SNM draft report shows U.S. Mo-99 production years away, July 22, 2008

    SNM explores feasibility of U.S. medical isotope source, May 22, 2008

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