The University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR) in Columbia, MO, has submitted a request to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to produce medical isotopes, specifically molybdenum-99 (Mo-99).
Once approved and operational, the facility will be capable of supporting almost half of U.S. demand for the isotope, the university and partners Nordion and General Atomics said in a statement. MURR plans to produce Mo-99 using a proprietary technology developed by General Atomics called selective gaseous extraction (SGE), which extracts the isotope from low-enriched uranium targets. This approach avoids the production of liquid uranium waste.
The extracted Mo-99 will be shipped to Nordion's facility in Ottawa, Ontario; from there, it will be distributed to radiopharmaceutical manufacturers. Nordion expects to begin receiving shipments of the isotope from MURR in 2018.