Commercial Production Of Lutetium-177 Starts At Bruce NPP

The international collaboration between Bruce Power, Isogen (a Kinectrics and Framatome company) and ITM Isotope Technologies Munich SE (ITM) announced today the start of commercial production of lutetium-177.

It marks the first-of-its-kind achievement of a commercial power reactor with additional capability to commercially produce short-lived medical isotopes.

Last June, Bruce Power already announced the world’s first production of lutetium-177 (Lu-177) at a commercial nuclear reactor, thanks to the new Isotope Production System (IPS) that was installed during a recent planned maintenance outage at Bruce-7, an 817-MW Candu pressurised heavy water reactor unit.

Today, this milestone is achieved following the completion of final commissioning and regulatory approval from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission and is the culmination of a multi-year project to install a novel Isotope Production System (IPS) in Bruce Power’s Unit 7.

The IPS will provide reliable, industrial-scale production of lutetium-177, a medical isotope used for targeted cancer therapeutics. Resulting of the successful irradiation of ytterbium-176, lutetium-177 is used to deploy precision nuclear medicine that precisely targets malignant cells while sparing surrounding healthy tissues.

Read the full Framatome Press Release.

Last February, the European Nuclear Society organised the webinar “Radioisotopes for life. Ensuring European supply – Stakeholders and opportunities”, in collaboration with Euratom Supply AgencySCK CEN (both ENS Members), PALLAS and the EU Commission DG ENER.

Presentations ranged from the European Observatory on the Supply of Medical Radioisotopes to the SAMIRA Action Plan and the European Radioisotope Valley Initiative. The discussion then moved to the current activities of an operating research reactor producing these life-savings radioisotopes (BR2 – SCK CEN) and to the future project for a new facility (PALLAS reactor).

Following the profitable exchange of inspiring ideas and experiences, all the guests stressed again the crucial role those medical radioisotopes play in beating cancer and the necessity to secure reliable, stable production and supply chain for the future.

Read the webinar’s summary and watch the recording on ENS YouTube Channel.

Moreover, medical radioisotopes’ production and supply have been the key topic of the engaging Panel Discussion “Medical Isotopes – Challenges and opportunities for a sustainable supply“, organised during the last European Research Reactor Conference in Budapest, Hungary (here the Report of the Conference).