Ontario Power Generation (OPG), its subsidiary Laurentis Energy Partners, BWXT ITG Canada Inc. and its affiliates announced they are making "significant progress" towards the production of molybdenum-99 at OPG’s Darlington nuclear station.
Mo-99 is a much-needed medical isotope that is used in over 40 million procedures a year to detect cancers and diagnose various medical conditions.
Over the past two years, a team of more than 100 personnel at BWXT and Laurentis have been designing specialised tooling to enable the production of Mo-99 at Darlington.
The manufacturing of this tooling is now underway at the same BWXT facility in Peterborough.
“This advanced equipment is an example of how Laurentis is maximising decades of experience within the nuclear industry for the delivery of innovative solutions. These milestones represent a considerable step forward in the implementation of this industry-leading technology,” said Dominique Minière, president of Laurentis and OPG’s chief strategy officer.
The tooling will deliver the molybdenum into the Darlington reactor for irradiation, which will enable Darlington to become the first commercial operating nuclear reactor to produce Mo-99.
“These milestones represent a considerable step forward in the implementation of this industry-leading technology,” Minière added.
Martyn Coombs, president of BWXT ITG said the company is "well underway" with the transformation of its nuclear medicine facility in Ottawa to be able to process Mo-99 and manufacture Tc-99m generators. "These generators will be used to make radiopharmaceuticals for patients, and will help to resolve historical shortages of this vital product,” Coombs said.
Photo: Aerial view of Darlington nuclear station in Canada