The Task Force on Alternatives for Medical-Isotope Production today released its final report in prepublication form at URL http://admin.triumf.ca/facility/5yp/comm/Report-vPREPUB.pdf. Task Force was convened by TRIUMF, the University of British Columbia, and Advanced Applied Physics Solution, Inc., with support from Natural Resources Canada.
The Task Force examined accelerator-based methods for producing Molybdenum-99, the chief medical isotope used around the world in about 40 million procedures each year. The Task Force looked closely at a technology using accelerator-driven photo-fission with natural uranium that is based on an emerging core competency at TRIUMF in superconducting radiofrequency accelerators.
The Task Force concluded that the photo-fission accelerator technology was attractive, quite feasible, and compared quite well to the present-day technology based on nuclear reactors using highly enriched uranium fuel and targets. Additional R&D and a laboratory proof-of-principle demonstration is required for full validation.
The technology is so compelling that the Task Force recommended that a steering group of public and private partners be formed to oversee the next steps. The Government of Canada should favourably consider a proposal for partial public support of such a steering group. Performers of individual work packages might also seek public support and would necessarily undergo the usual competitive scientific peer review at the relevant agencies.
Photo Credit: MDS Nordion