Lab Spotlight

Argonne - Medical Isotope Production

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Over the summer, Argonne National Laboratory confirmed a new commercial method for producing a critical medical isotope. In June, Argonne demonstrated the production, separation and purification of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) using a process developed in cooperation with SHINE Medical Technologies. Mo-99 is the parent isotope of technetium-99m (Tc-99m), the most widely used radioisotope in medical diagnostic imaging. The U.S. has set a priority to secure a stable domestic source of Mo-99—even more important than reducing reliance on foreign suppliers. Most methods of producing Mo-99 present a risk of nuclear weapons proliferation because they involve highly enriched uranium (HEU). Argonne has been working with commercial partners to eliminate HEU from the process. The SHINE process was an important milestone in this effort; ituses fast neutrons to bombard an aqueous solution of uranium, creating fission products that include Mo-99.
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