committee held four meetings to receive information from subject matter experts, representatives of the medical isotope production and user communities, and congressional and federal agency staff (Appendix C).
Small groups of committee members also toured medical isotope production and/or technetium generator manufacturing facilities at AECL and MDS-Nordion (Chalk River and Ottawa, Canada, respectively), Mallinckrodt (Petten, the Netherlands, and Maryland Heights, Missouri), IRE (Fleurus, Belgium), ANSTO (Lucas Heights, Australia), and CNEA/Investigaciones Aplicadas Sociedad del Estado (INVAP; Buenos Aires, Argentina). A small group of members also toured the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR; Columbia, Missouri) and the reactor fuel and target fabrication facility operated by Compagnie pour l’Etude et la Réalisation de Combustibles Atomiques (CERCA; near Romans, France).
Some organizations provided proprietary information for this study through nondisclosure agreements with the National Academies. This information primarily addressed issues such as isotope production processes, future plans, and potential barriers to conversion from HEU to LEU. None of the proprietary information received by the National Academies appears in this report.
Given the broad task statement for this study, the committee recognized early on that it needed to establish boundaries to guide its inquiries. Specifically, the committee decided that:
The study would focus on the reactor production of the medical isotope Mo-99 and its decay product Tc-99m for reasons described in Chapter 2.
Financial feasibility of LEU production would be assessed at several points in the Mo-99 supply chain (Chapter 10).
The discussion of the third charge of the task statement (Sidebar 1.2) would emphasize progress being made in the elimination of HEU targets for medical isotope production (Chapters 7–10) but would also discuss elimination of HEU fuel in reactors (Chapter 11).
The report is organized into a number of chapters that address the elements of the study charge.
This chapter provides the background and study task for the report.
A short primer on Mo-99 production and use is provided in Chapter 2. It is intended primarily for nonexpert readers who wish to gain a