What is the ANSTO Nuclear Medicine Project?
In 2012 the Australian Government announced a $168.8 million investment that will position Australia as a global leader in the manufacture of nuclear medicine.
|Image: The exterior of the new ANSTO Nuclear Medicine production facility, November 2016.|
This project will enable ANSTO to triple production of Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). The increased capacity will enable Australia to meet domestic demand, as well as being able to supply up to 25-30% of global demand. Used for 80 per cent of nuclear medicines, Mo-99 is the base material used in the diagnosis of cancers, heart disease, muscular and skeletal conditions.
What does the project include?
An export scale nuclear medicine manufacturing plant
The new facility will secure Australia’s ability to produce Mo-99 long into the future. The increased capacity will meet current and future domestic demand and leave a significant proportion to support global demand.
Australian Mo-99 is produced with low enriched uranium (LEU) target plates in Australia’s LEU fuelled OPAL reactor, positioning Australia as a leader in the global push toward nuclear non-proliferation.
Innovative Synroc waste treatment plant
Synroc is an Australian innovation that is a cost effective, low risk solution for the treatment of radioactive waste. Short for ‘synthetic rock’, it mimics the natural ability of rocks to safely lock up radioactive elements for hundreds of thousands of years.
This method is proven to significantly reduce the volume of nuclear by-products compared to other methods such as cementation, potentially saving organisations many millions of dollars in the safe storage of their waste. Synroc will deliver a permanent, safe and economical way of treating waste from past, current and future manufacture of nuclear medicines.
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