Los Alamos National Lab demonstrates Mo-99 production

Medical isotope firm Shine Medical Technologies said that Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico has successfully demonstrated the production and separation of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) from uranium sulfate solution.

The demonstration, which employed a separation flow sheet designed by Argonne National Laboratory in Argonne, IL, represented validation of Shine's technology, in that it utilized both a low-enriched uranium solution and the process flows that will be used in its commercial operations, according to Shine.

The demonstration found that more than 97% of the Mo-99 was recovered in the separation process, which suggests that Shine's target system can be used to produce and recover Mo-99 at extremely high efficiency, according to the company. Shine believes that when the process is used with its proprietary technology, medical isotopes will be created in a safer and more environmentally friendly way than is currently possible, while avoiding the use of highly enriched uranium.

Shine intends to produce Mo-99 without using a nuclear reactor, the firm said. Its planned production process will use a particle accelerator and target that will reduce the amount of waste generated in current Mo-99 production methods.

The company plans to locate its production facility in Janesville, WI, and to have it operational in 2016.

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