Abstracts and Available Papers Presented at the
2000 International RERTR Meeting
A CONVERSION DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM TO LEU TARGETS FOR MEDICAL ISOTOPE PRODUCTION IN THE MAPLE FACILITIES
G. R. Malkoske
Engineering & Technology
Kanata, Ontario, Canada
Historically, the production of molybdenum-99 in the NRU research reactors at Chalk River, Canada has been extracted from reactor targets employing highly enriched uranium (HEU). The molybdenum extraction process from the HEU targets provided predictable, consistent yields for our high-volume molybdenum production process. A reliable supply of HEU for the NRU research reactor targets has enabled MDS Nordion to develop a secure chain of medical isotope supply for the international nuclear medicine community. Each link of the isotope supply chain, from isotope production to patient application, has been established on a proven method of HEU target irradiation and processing.
To ensure a continued reliable and timely supply of medical isotopes, the design of the MAPLE facilities was based on our established process – extraction of isotopes from HEU target material. However, in concert with the global trend to utilize low enriched uranium (LEU) in research reactors, MDS Nordion has launched a program to convert the MAPLE facilities to LEU targets. An initial feasibility study was initiated to identify the technical issues to convert the MAPLE targets from HEU to LEU. This paper will present the results of the feasibility study. It will also describe future challenges and opportunities in converting the MAPLE facilities to LEU targets for large scale, commercial medical isotope production.
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Mr. Grant Malkoske
Vice President of Engineering & Technology
447 March Road
Kanata, Ontario, Canada K2K 1X8
Phone: (613) 592-3400 Ext. 2041
Fax: (613) 591-7449
E-mail: [email protected]