Nuclear power
China successfully mastered the key technology of medical fission molybdenum!
Seetao 2024-06-11 14:21
  • This achievement marks a significant improvement in China’s independent capabilities in the global supply of medical molybdenum-99
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On June 9, 2024, the China Institute of Atomic Energy and Qinshan Nuclear Power worked together to successfully independently develop low-enriched uranium targets by using reactor irradiation technology, and based on this, produced molybdenum-99 samples with a nuclear purity of up to 99%, which fully meets medical standards. The on-site acceptance of this achievement was successfully passed, which not only demonstrated China's key technological breakthrough in the field of commercial reactors in nuclear power plants to produce medical fission molybdenum-99, but also an important milestone for China to achieve self-sufficiency in medical molybdenum-99.

Technetium-99m is known as the diagnostic star in the field of nuclear medicine. It plays a vital role in the medical field, especially in the imaging and functional examination of body organs. For the diagnosis of malignant tumors, cardiovascular diseases and other diseases, technetium-99m provides great help, allowing doctors to understand the patient's condition more accurately. According to statistics, more than 40 million people rely on technetium-99m for medical diagnosis every year, which is enough to prove its importance and wide application in the medical field. It is worth mentioning that medical molybdenum-99 is the best source of this precious radioactive isotope, and its importance is self-evident.

Based on in-depth research and full mastery of low-enriched uranium target preparation technology, the research team proposed an innovative method: using the commercial CANDU reactor with high neutron flux to irradiate low-enriched uranium targets to produce medical molybdenum-99. They successfully overcame several key technical difficulties, including the design and preparation of low-enriched uranium targets suitable for CANDU reactor irradiation, target dissolution, extraction of fission molybdenum-99, and the development of corresponding process equipment. These breakthroughs enabled the research team to successfully obtain molybdenum-99 samples that meet medical standards, laying a solid technical foundation for China to independently realize the engineering production of medical fission molybdenum-99.Editor/Zhang Liyuan


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