JAEA and Private Firms Jointly Address Molybdenum Production Using Accelerators
27 September 2010
The Japan Atomic Energy Agency (JAEA) and several Japanese companies are
set to jointly carry out R&D on the production of radioisotopes (RIs) using
accelerators—looking to medium- and long-term needs—given the increasingly
instability of the supplies of short-lived RIs, including molybdenum (Mo), which
are essential worldwide in nuclear medicine for the diagnosis of cancers and
other diseases. Simultaneously, they will consider the domestic production of RIs
using the Japan Materials Testing Reactor (JMTR).
A special group to develop technology to produce RIs using neutrons generated by
accelerators was formed within JAEA, with the R&D carried out by Chiyoda Technol
Corporation, Fujifilm RI Pharma Co. and Sumitomo Heavy Industries.
As far as how to produce the RIs themselves, the group will consider the practicability
of production systems and ways to establish the necessary technological infrastructure
in cooperation with industry. JAEA will test manufacture RIs, and develop and study
basic technologies to produce them, while the private firms will develop basic
technologies for applying RIs practically and evaluating economic efficiency.
The basic issues include the following:
(1) the technological infrastructure for the production of Mo-99 and technetium (Tc)-99m,
(2) R&D on the generation of intense, fast neutrons, and
(3) feasibility studies concerning the application of production to diverse types of RIs.
Editor: Mio Kimuro, JAIF