Feb 20, 2012
Scientists in Canada are the first to make commercial quantities of the medical isotope technetium-99m using medical cyclotrons. The material is currently made in just a few aging nuclear reactors worldwide, and recent reactor shutdowns have highlighted the current risk to the global supply of this important isotope.
Technetium-99m is very useful for medical imaging because it only emits gamma rays and can be incorporated into a number of different molecules that target different types of tissue in the body. Today it is made in nuclear reactors by creating a radioactive isotope of molybdenum that then decays to technetium-99m.
The entire supply of the isotope for North America is made the 60-year-old NRU reactor in Canada, which has experienced two extended unscheduled shutdowns in the past decade… (continua a leggere su physicsworld.com)