I&C protection system chosen for US medical isotope plant

3 May 2018

Rock Creek Innovations, a small Phoenix-based company, has been selected by Shine Medical Technologies to lead design and implementation of the instrumentation and control protection systems for its medical isotope production facility in Janesville, Wisconsin.

Construction of the main facility is due to start soon. the facility will produce medically important isotopes, including molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), using an accelerator-driven subcritical assembly to irradiate a low-enriched uranium target solution.

Rock Creek’s Highly Integrated Protection System (HIPS) “takes advantage of the best of both analogue and digital control systems by combining the long-proven analogue safety channel approach used by nuclear protection systems today with the comprehensive diagnostic and self-testing capabilities of digital logic," Shine said. The HIPS platform has been approved by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for use in safety-related applications at US nuclear plants. 

The construction licence application for the Janesville plant was submitted to NRC in 2013, and in 2015 NRC's advisory committee on reactor safeguards recommended that a construction permit should be issued. The permit was duly issued in February 2016, the first it had issued for a non-power utilisation or production facility since 1985. Construction of Building One at Janesville, which began in August 2017, was completed in February. It will be used to train employees and develop operating experience with during construction of the main production facility.

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