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Rivista di Medicina Nucleare e Imaging Molecolare

A Journal on Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging
Affiliated to the Society of Radiopharmaceutical Sciences and to the International Research Group of Immunoscintigraphy
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The Quarterly Journal of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging 2012 August;56(4):385-99

lingua: Inglese

Molybdenum-99 production from reactor irradiation of molybdenum targets: a viable strategy for enhanced availability of technetium-99m

Pillai M. R. A. 1, Knapp F. F. (Russ) Jr. 2

1 Radiopharmaceuticals Division, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Mumbai, India;
2 Nuclear Medicine Program, Isotope Development Group, Fuel Cycle and Isotope Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN, USA


Fission-produced 99Mo (F 99Mo) is traditionally used for fabrication of 99Mo/99mTc alumina-based column generators. In this paper, several emerging strategies are discussed which are being pursued or have been suggested to overcome the continuing shortages of F 99Mo. In addition to the hopeful eventual success of these proposed new 99Mo and 99mTc production technologies, an additional attractive strategy is the alternative production and use of low specific activity (LSA) 99Mo. This strategy avoids fission and is accomplished by direct activation of molybdenum targets in nuclear reactors, which would preclude sole continued reliance on F 99Mo. The principal focus of this paper is a detailed discussion on the advantages and strategies for enhanced production of LSA 99Mo using an international network of research reactors. Several effective strategies are discussed to obtain 99mTc from LSA 99Mo as well as more efficient use of the alumina-based generator system. The delayed time period between 99Mo production and traditional 99Mo/99mTc alumina column generator manufacture and distribution to user sites results in the loss of more than 50% of 99Mo activity. Another strategy is a paradigm shift in the use of 99Mo by recovering clinical-grade 99mTc from 99Mo solution as an alternative to use of 99Mo/99mTc column generators, thereby avoiding substantial decreased availability of 99Mo from radioactive decay. Implementation of the suggested strategies would be expected to increase availability of 99mTc to the clinical user community by several fold. Additional important advantages for the use of LSA 99Mo include eliminating the need for fission product waste management and precluding proliferation concerns by phasing out the need for high (HEU)- and low (LEU)-enriched uranium targets required for F 99Mo production.

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