SHINE worker at medical isotope facility.

How Nuclear Fusion Can Transform Medical Isotope Production


How Nuclear Fusion Can Transform Medical Isotope Production

Supply-chain issues are everywhere. From microchips to baby formula to lumber, shortages have seemingly become the norm rather than the exception over the past couple of years.

Few industries have been spared, including radiology. For just one example, consider supply-chain fluctuations in medical isotopes that are used daily in tens of thousands of procedures.

The most recent notable example came early in 2022, when the Petten High Flux Reactor (HFR), a nuclear research reactor in Petten, the Netherlands, saw its first scheduled operating cycle of the year canceled unexpectedly due to a water leak in its cooling system. HFR supplies about 60% of European demand and 30% of worldwide demand of critical medical isotopes, including molybdenum-99, lutetium-177, and other critical isotopes.

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