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Medical Isotope Production without Highly Enriched Uranium
to share R&D costs with existing and potential new producers that could supply the U.S. market as a means to incentivize the conversion process and encourage new domestic production. Remove disincentives to conversion by maintaining the cost of LEU so that it is no more expensive than HEU on a common U-235 mass basis.
Department of State: Intensify the diplomatic pressure on countries that still use HEU (fuel or targets) to induce them to convert. In particular, those countries that are partners in GTRI and have made a commitment to the “minimization of HEU” should be encouraged to live up to their commitments; this includes Canada, the Netherlands, Belgium, and France.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA): Work with industry and DOE’s technical experts to ensure that there is a common understanding of LEU-based production of Mo-99 from a regulatory perspective, and also that there is a good understanding of likely FDA requirements for obtaining regulatory approvals for the use of this isotope in radiopharmaceuticals.
U.S. Congress: Provide clear and consistent policy signals concerning conversion to LEU-based Mo-99 production. Consider additional controls on the use of U.S.-origin HEU for medical isotope production and incentives to motivate conversion and the development of domestic sources of Mo-99. Some possible incentives are described in Chapter 10.