Producing LEU-based Mo-99 to reduce the use of HEU

Belgium’s Institute for Radioelements (IRE) announced that the company produced its first commercial Molybdenum-99 Low Enriched Uranium (LEU) batch for the US market.

This conversion to LEU represents a key milestone for IRE in the global efforts to end the civil use of High Enriched Uranium (HEU) for the production of Mo-99 medical isotopes, in line with international nonproliferation goals.

Mo-99 is the most widely used radioisotope in nuclear medicine for diagnosis. Together with technetium-99m (Tc-99m), it is used in almost 40 million procedures per year, accounting for about 80% of all nuclear medicine procedures and 85% of diagnostic scans in nuclear medicine worldwide.

This first production was completed with uranium targets irradiated in the BR-2, the Belgian research reactor located at SCK CEN in Mol, a key partner of IRE in the production of radioisotopes.

Read more in this IRE’s press release.