Research Reactor Section
Coordinated Research Project No. 1548
Feasibility Evaluation of the Use of LEU Fuelled Homogeneous Aqueous Solution Nuclear Reactors for the Production of Short Lived Fission Product Isotopes
This publication presents a summary of discussions from a consultants meeting on the merits and challenges associated with the operation of aqueous homogenous reactors (AHRs) for the production of the isotope technetium-99m (99mTc) and includes the technical presentations given by the participants during the meeting. Currently, 80% of all radiopharmaceutical procedures employ 99mTc, a product of the decay of the isotope 99Mo. It is normally obtained through the fission of highly enriched uranium (HEU), but research has shown that the use of AHRs offers an attractive alternative to the conventional target irradiation method of producing 99Mo. The elimination of the need for targets allows the reactor to run at much lower power and therefore holds interest for companies developing innovative solutions to satisfy increasing demands for medical isotopes.