curred for some recently constructed reactors (see discussion of the Maple and OPAL reactors in Chapter 3).

In the second case, there is little experience to draw on, in fact none for a large-scale producer of Mo-99 during the last several decades. The Argentinean company INVAP is finishing construction and starting commissioning of a turnkey integrated facility for producing Mo-99 from LEU targets irradiated in ETRR2, but to the committee’s knowledge this is not now planned to be large-scale production. Such a facility, using proven technology,7 can be designed and constructed in 2–3 years. An additional 1–2 years would likely be required for cold and hot commissioning, training of staff, and regulatory approvals.

Two U.S.-based organizations are seeking partners for Greenfield construction of Mo-99 production facilities in the United States: The Missouri University Research Reactor (MURR) is seeking support to construct a facility for LEU-based production using its existing multipurpose reactor (Chapter 3). MURR estimates that it could take 3–4 years to fund and construct this facility. MURR estimates that additional time, perhaps another year, would be required for process commissioning and associated regulatory approvals.

Babcock & Wilcox (B&W) is seeking a radiopharmaceutical partner for a medical isotope production reactor and associated processing facilities at its Lynchburg, Virginia, site (Chapter 3). The company estimates that construction would require 5 years if the regulatory issues described in Chapter 3 can be addressed in a timely manner. Again, additional time, perhaps 6 to 18 months, would be required to transition to this or any other new isotope production facility into production because of FDA approval protocols.

For these Greenfield construction examples, the minimum time required to bring new Mo-99 production to market ranges from about 4 to 9 years.

Brownfield Conversion

Brownfield conversion shares some similarities with the second case for a Greenfield construction, except that the processing facility already exists. The time required to convert the facility is probably less than building a new facility from scratch. As noted previously, two recent examples of such conversions are CNEA (Argentina) and ANSTO (Australia).8 The time for conversion of the CNEA facility was very short (on the order of

7

This facility will produce Mo-99 using the CNEA-developed process that was scaled up and engineered by INVAP.

8

ANSTO was a Brownfield conversion in the sense that its existing hot cell facility was refurbished to accommodate a new LEU process.



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