The National Academies will conduct a study and provide findings and recommendations to DOE on the production of medical isotopes without HEU. As mandated by Congress in Section 630 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005, the study will determine the following:
If the National Academies determine that the procurement of medical isotopes from commercial sources is not feasible as defined in Section 630 of the Energy Policy Act, it should estimate the magnitude of the cost differential and identify additional steps that could be taken by DOE and medical isotope producers to improve the feasibility of such conversions. In estimating the magnitude of cost differentials, consideration should be given to facilities utilized by both large and small producers. The National Academies should also identify any reliability of supply issues that could arise as a result of such conversions.
With respect to the first charge, Congress established three tests for feasibility:
Nuclear Technology Products (NTP) Radioisotopes extracts Mo-99 from targets irradiated in a reactor near Pelindaba, South Africa.
Approximately 40–50 kg of HEU are used annually for medical isotope production (NNSA and ANSTO, 20076), including annual U.S. exports of