Australia offers update on medical isotope production

Australia is ready to pitch in to help ensure the world has enough medical isotopes following the end of production last week at the National Research Universal (NRU) nuclear reactor in Chalk River, Ontario.

The Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) currently has two projects underway valued at approximately $170 million Australian ($128 million U.S.).

One venture would almost double the capacity at ANSTO's existing nuclear medicine processing facility. The second initiative is a new nuclear medicine production facility that would come online next year with the goal of producing some 10 million doses of radiopharmaceuticals a year.

Along with contributing to the world supply, ANSTO also provides 550,000 doses of medical isotopes annually to some 250 hospitals and nuclear medicine centers in Australia.

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