Cyclotrons make commercial quantities of technetium

Feb 20, 2012

Photo of some of the development team
Some of the development team

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


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