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Call to boost isotope supplies

The US Department of Energy should build two dedicated isotope-production facilities, costing about $65 million in total, to solve worsening supply problems for researchers in medicine, physical sciences and national security. That's the conclusion from a panel convened by the energy department's Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC), which approved the panel's report on the state of the US isotope programme on 5 November. The programme supplies researchers with isotopes that are not readily available from commercial suppliers, and is tiny compared with the vast market for routinely used medical isotopes, such as technetium-99m — which itself is still beset with ongoing supply problems (see Nature 460, 312–313; 2009 ). Despite the programme's small size — its 2008 budget was just $32 million — its products are essential to a wide array of research fields. But fragmented and ageing production facilities at the energy department have struggled to keep up with the variety and pace of demands. So last year the department commissioned the NSAC to identify the most important research isotopes and to come up with ways to alleviate supply fluctuations. The committee concluded that a group of isotopes with potential for use in medical therapy were the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Nature Nature Publishing Group (NPG)

Call to boost isotope supplies

Abstract

The US Department of Energy should build two dedicated isotope-production facilities, costing about $65 million in total, to solve worsening supply problems for researchers in medicine, physical sciences and national security. That's the conclusion from a panel convened by the energy department's Nuclear Science Advisory Committee (NSAC), which approved the panel's report on the state of the US isotope programme on 5 November. The programme supplies researchers with isotopes...
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