For more than 60 years, ANSTO has manufactured a range of nuclear medicines called radiopharmaceuticals, which are used as both diagnostic and therapeutic agents in clinical settings, as well as in medical research.
ANSTO delivers thousands of patient doses of Tc-99m to hospitals and nuclear medicine centres in Australia and the region every week.
It is estimated that on average, two in three Australians will benefit from the use of nuclear medicine in their lifetime.
Nuclear medicine in Australia
The most widely used radioisotope in nuclear medicine, technetium-99 (Tc-99m), decays from its parent radioisotope molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). Mo-99 is produced in Australia by ANSTO.
Tc-99m emits very small amounts of radiation that can be detected by PET and SPECT gamma cameras. The images provide vital information to doctors on physiological processes in the body, and are used to diagnose disease.
Mo-99 is produced in the multipurpose OPAL nuclear reactor, processed at ANSTO’s new Mo-99 Manufacturing Facility and despatched to practitioners in shielded Gentech® Generators manufactured by ANSTO.
ANSTO also produces a diverse range of radiochemicals to support research, industry and the manufacture of radiopharmaceuticals.
Nuclear medicine production
Go behind the scenes
Follow the journey: as nuclear medicine makes its way from the OPAL reactor to medical centres around Australia.