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The National Nuclear Security Administration’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative announced today the signing of a cooperative agreement with NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, LLC, to further the development of accelerator-based technology to produce molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) in the United States.
The cooperative agreement between NNSA and NorthStar, which totals $4.6 million and is funded under a 50 percent/50 percent cost-share arrangement, will accelerate the development of the NorthStar technology to produce Mo-99 without proliferation-sensitive highly enriched uranium (HEU). The agreement would also support the goal of ensuring a reliable domestic supply of this critical medical isotope for U.S. patients.
The United States currently does not have a domestic production capability for Mo-99 and must import 100 percent of its supply from foreign producers, most of which use HEU in their production processes. Over the past few years, technical difficulties and shutdowns at the major Mo-99 production facilities have caused severe supply shortages, which have greatly impacted the availability of Mo-99 to the medical community. The Mo-99 produced by NorthStar would provide additional reliability for the U.S. supply.
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