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Mo-99 Manufacturing Facility
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Mo-99 Manufacturing Facility

What is the Mo-99 Manufacturing Facility? 

After decades of delivering nuclear medicine to Australia in an ageing facility and facing increasing demand, ANSTO received $168.8 million in funding from the Federal Government to expand its operations and construct a new manufacturing facility and waste treatment facility.  The facility ensures the long term sustainability of nuclear medicine supply in Australia. It positions Australia to supply bulk molybdenum globally in the future.

The state-of the art Molybdenum-99 Manufacturing Facility is now operational, receiving Molybdenum 99 produced by the adjacent OPAL reactor.  It greatly enhances Mo-99 production capabilities.

Innovative Synroc waste treatment plant

ANSTO Synroc® is an Australian innovation that is a cost effective, low risk solution for the treatment of radioactive waste. The process 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. The ANSTO Synroc® technology will deliver a permanent, safe and economical way of treating waste from past, current and future manufacture of nuclear medicines

Molybdenum-99

Mo-99 is the radioisotope used by millions of people around the world in nuclear medicine procedures for the diagnosis of heart disease and other diseases. Mo-99 gives off very small amounts of radiation that is picked up by gamma cameras, providing vital information for doctors seeking to understand how the body parts of patients are functioning.

For all enquiries about the Mo-99 Manufacturing Facility please email anm@ansto.gov.au

UPDATE: ANM Licence Amendment 

2 April 2020 

Attributable to a spokesperson for ANSTO:

Production of bulk Mo-99 at ANSTO’s nuclear medicine production facility ANM can be increased when staffing arrangements are in place, after a decision from the nuclear regulator.

Mo-99 is the parent isotope of Technetium-99m, which is used in hospitals and nuclear medicine centres to diagnose a variety of heart, lung, organ and muscular-skeletal conditions.

It is the world’s most commonly used nuclear medicine, with tens of millions of patients needing access to the medicine around the world every year.

On March 27 2020, ARPANSA’s CEO amended ANM’s current licence to allow for a measured increase in production of this potentially lifesaving nuclear medicine. 

The decision followed an application to ARPANSA from ANSTO in November 2019 to remove a restriction on production at ANM following regulatory actions undertaken earlier in 2019.    

The amended licence provides for production to ramp up slowly, from three, to four and possibly more runs per week, evaluating the one phase before moving to the next. This will commence in due course.  

ANM has been meeting Australia’s domestic needs for nuclear medicine, and production will continue at that level until the broader health situation allows staffing arrangements to return to normal. 

Two-thirds of ANSTO’s workforce are currently working from home on account of the COVID pandemic, while reactor, safety, security, nuclear medicine and other essential staff work on campus as per normal.

The on-campus staff have been split into two distinct teams for business continuity purposes, to ensure ongoing supplies of critical nuclear medicines, which Australians rely on every day.

ANSTO acknowledges ARPANSA’s independent regulatory oversight and its role in supporting a safe and strong future for nuclear medicine in Australia.

Below is a detailed list of products available through ANSTO. This list includes relevant links to product information sheets, consumer medical information, directions for use, elution profiles and accessories.