Russia delivers radioisotopes to South Korea

14 March 2016

Russia has delivered to South Korea 10kg of molybdenum-100 (Mo-100), which was produced as part of a cooperation project between the Electrochemical Plant (ECP - part of fuel company Tvel) and V/O Isotope (authorised Isotope supplier for state nuclear corporation Rosatom). That cooperation is based on a long-term contract the two Russian companies signed last December with South Korea's Institute for Basic Science. Further batches of 30-40kg are planned for delivery between 2017 and 2019. The Mo-100 is to be used as part of the international AMoRE (Advanced Mo based Rare process Experiment) collaboration. The highly enriched isotope ??-100 is used for growing scintillation crystals, which are needed in research using high-precision probes.

The AMoRE collaboration involves 90 scientists representing 16 research institutes in seven countries: Russia, China, Germany, South Korea, Pakistan, Thailand, and Ukraine. It was set up to investigate neutrinoless double-beta decay. The aim is to build a high-accuracy detector, which operates using scintillation crystals grown from highly enriched isotopes, in particular, Mo-100. ECP is one of the world's largest producers of stable isotopes using the gas centrifuge technology. The plant produces isotopes of 19 chemical elements, many on a commercial scale.

Earlier this year, Russia's Production Association Mayak signed a one-year contract (January-December 2016) with V/O Isotope to supply radioisotope products and components to Russian and foreign consumers worth RUB450m ($5.9m). The contract covers the delivery of "sources of gamma, beta, alpha, neutron radiation, reference sources (intended for qualification), control and complete source". PA Mayak is the main Russian producer of radioisotopes (cobalt-60, iridium-192, carbon-14 etc.). The company produces about 60% of the total volume of isotopic products in Russia. Annually, PA Mayak releases several thousand sources of ionizing radiation and radiopharmaceuticals, which are used in industry, agriculture, medicine and research, a company's statement says.

V/O Isotope also has a RUB241.9m contract with Science & Innovations, which manages Russia's producers of molybdenum-99 (used in nuclear medicine) to supply 40 batches of Mo-99 to Iran this year. Payment for the product will be on a stage-by-stage basis, for each batch. Mo-99 is produced by the Research Institute of Atomic Reactors in Dimitrovgrad (Niiar) and the Karpov Scientific Research Institute of Physics & Chemistry (NIFKhI) in Moscow. Russia's Institute of Reactor Materials (IRM) in Zarechny is also seeking to sell radioisotopes abroad through V/O Isotope. Total sales are expected to be around RUB380m.



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