Document Details

Medical Isotopes Production Project: Molybdenum-99 and Related Isotopes Record of Decision
Subject Terms:
Hot Cell Facility; Isotope Production; Mo-98; Molybdenum-99; Technetium-99m
Document Location:
DOE INFORMATION CENTER 1 Way, Oak Ridge, TN 37831; Eva Butler; Phone: 865-241-4780; Toll-Free: 800-382-6938, Option 6; FAX: 865-574-3521; Email:
Document Categories:
Isotope Separation\General
Document Type:
Publication Date:
1996 Sep 30
Declassification Status:
Never classified
Document Pages:
Accession Number:
Document Number(s):
Originating Research Org.:
Department of Energy-Office of Nuclear Energy
OpenNet Entry Date:
1999 Sep 06
For more than 40 years, DOE and its predecessor agencies have produced and distributed isotopes through DOE's national laboratories. In 1990, Congress established the Isotope Production and Distribution Program (IPDP), combining under one program all DOE ispotope production activities. Among other activities, IPDP has responsibility for ensuring a stable supply of Mo-99 to the U.S. medical community. Mo-99 is a radioactive isotope of molybdenum that results from the fission of uranium atoms or from the irradation of stable isotopes of molybdenum, such as Mo-98. Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) is a decay product of Mo-99. Approximately 38,000 diagnostic procedures involving radioactive isotopes are performed each day in the United States. Most of these procedures use Tc99m. Diagnoses using Tc-99m make it possible to define internal conditions of the body that often cannot be determined through any other means except invasive surgery. The short life of Tc-99m minimizes the radiation dose received by the patient. Because these isotopes are highly perishable with short lifetimes (the half lives of Mo-99 and Tc-99 are 66 hours and 6 hours, respectively), the need to ensure a stable, continuous supply fo rmedical use is critical. The U.S. medical community accounts for about 60 percent of the worldwide demand for Mo-99/Tc-99m, yet there is no current domestic production source for these isotopes. The results of DOE's evaluations of alternatives to ensure this supply are given, along with environmental impacts of producing enough Mo-99 to meet 100 percent of the U.S. demand.

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