Abstracts and Available Papers Presented at the
2003 International RERTR Meeting
THE LEU TARGET DEVELOPMENT AND CONVERSION PROGRAM FOR THE MAPLE REACTORS AND NEW PROCESSING FACILITY
G. R. Malkoske, B. Sc. Eng., P. Eng.
Engineering & Technology
447 March Road
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
The availability of isotope grade, Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU), from the United States for use in the manufacture of targets for molybdenum-99 production in AECL’s NRU research reactor has been a key factor to enable MDS Nordion to develop a reliable, secure supply of medical isotopes for the international nuclear medicine community. The molybdenum extraction process from HEU targets is a proven and established method that has reliably produced medical isotopes for several decades. The HEU process provides predictable, consistent yields for our high-volume, molybdenum-99 production. Other medical isotopes such as I-131 and Xe-133, which play an important role in nuclear medicine applications, are also produced from irradiated HEU targets as a by-product of the molybdenum-99 process.
To ensure a continued reliable and timely supply of medical isotopes, MDS Nordion is completing the commissioning of two MAPLE reactors and an associated isotope processing facility (the New Processing Facility). The new MAPLE facilities, which will be dedicated exclusively to medical isotope production, will provide an essential contribution to a secure, robust global healthcare system. Design and construction of these facilities has been based on a life cycle management philosophy for the isotope production process. This includes target irradiation, isotope extraction and waste management. The MAPLE reactors will operate with Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) fuel, a significant contribution to the objectives of the RERTR program. The design of the isotope production process in the MAPLE facilities is based on an established process – extraction of isotopes from HEU target material. This is a proven technology that has been demonstrated over more than three decades of operation. However, in support of the RERTR program and in compliance with U.S. legislation, MDS Nordion has undertaken a LEU Target Development and Conversion Program for the MAPLE facilities.
This paper will provide an overview progress on the Conversion Development Program, and further discuss the challenges in converting the MAPLE facilities to molybdenum production from LEU targets
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Mr. Grant Malkoske
VP, Engineering and Technology
447 March Road
Ottawa, Ontario K2K 1X8
Phone: +1 (613) 592-3400 ext. 2041
Fax: +1 (613) 591-7449
E-mail: [email protected]