Nukewatch Quarterly Spring 2016
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission on February 25 granted a construction permit to SHINE Medical Technologies to build a $100 million factory in Janesville, Wisconsin where it will produce Molybdenum-99, or Mo-99, and other radioisotopes. Mo-99 decays to technicium-99m which is used in medical scans for cancer, heart function screening, and other procedures. Based in Monona, Wisconsin and established in 2010, SHINE expects to open the factory in three years and produce over one quarter of the global demand for Mo-99.
SHINE says it uses a “patented, proprietary manufacturing process” for producing the isotopes that does not require a nuclear reactor or highly enriched uranium. SHINE’s website says its process “uses less electricity, generates less waste” than conventional production methods practiced inside CANDU reactors in Canada—the current source of most medical isotopes used in the US.
Technitium-99m is used as a radioactive “tracer” isotope in up to 40 million medical imaging procedures in the US each year. According to SHINE, tc-99m “is administered to some 55,000 Americans every day for the purpose of diagnosing and staging a multitude of diseases, including cancer and heart disease.” It is an imaging agent in bone scans to identify the stage of a cancer, and in stress tests to diagnose heart disease. Other radioisotopes produced by SHINE include iodine-131, iodine-125, and xenon-133 gas.
—Minneapolis StarTribune, Feb. 26, 2016; & <http://shinemed.com/news/shine-medical-receives-regulatory-approval-nuclear-regulatory-commission-to-issue-construction-permit>