General Atomics will receive $9.7 million in funds from the Energy Departmentâ€™s National Nuclear Security Administration under a cooperative agreement to produce commercial supplies of molybdenum-99 medical isotopes in the U.S.
Mo-99 serves as the parent isotope of the radioisotope technetium-99m used in nuclear-based diagnostic imaging procedures, General Atomics said Wednesday.
The companyÂ will collaborate with health science firm NordionÂ and the University of Missouri Research Reactor under the agreement and use aÂ selective gas extraction platform to produce Mo-99 isotopes viaÂ low-enriched uranium targets.
“We are keenly aware of the societal benefit to be realized from successful completion of our project to develop a domestic supply of Mo-99,â€ said Kathy Murray, Mo-99 project manager at General Atomics.
The medical community has experienced Mo-99 isotope shortages due to plant shutdowns and technical problems at radioisotope production facilities, according to General Atomics.