- NorthStar's Molybdenum-99 Short-Term and Long-Term Solutions
Addressing the Supply Shortage of Molybdenum-99
NorthStar is one of four companies in the U.S. granted a Cooperative Agreement from the National Nuclear Security Administration to develop a domestic molybdenum-99 supply. We are focused on solving the supply shortage through a two-step approach to the problem:
NorthStar's Short-term Solution:
Partner with Missouri University Research Reactor (MURR) to produce molybdenum-99 using natural molybdenum
- MURR facility has an uptime of >90% and is one of the most reliable reactors in the world.
- NorthStar/MURR will be capable of delivering up to 3,000 6 day Ci of molybdenum-99
NorthStar's Long-term Solution:
Construction of a production facility in Beloit, WI, to produce molybdenum-99 using multiple linear accelerators.
- Will produce 50% of the US requirement of molybdenum-99 by end of 2014.
- Licensing of the Beloit facility will be under the State of Wisconsin regulation as an agreement state.
- Redundant power and spare linear accelerators mean downtime will be transparent to the customer
NorthStar's Technegen™ Generator System
NorthStar's two-step solution to the molybdenum-99 supply problem utilizes a patented new technology known as TechneGen™ that can process molybdenum-99 yielding USP compliant technetium-99m.
Attributes of TechneGen™:
- TechneGen™ produces >90% of the theoretical yield vs. 75% to 90% yield of current generators.
TechneGen™ pools the low activity sources and continues to produce useable amounts of technetium- 99m, thus increasing its yield well beyond the yield of current generators.
(Current generators are returned to the manufacturer with unused technetium-99m capacity that is typically not recovered because of low activity.)
- TechneGen™'s automated process ensures product batch-to-batch consistency and USP compliance.
- TechneGen™ enables recycling of raw materials.
TechneGen™'s architecture and processes can be extended to other medically significant radioisotopes, including, to mention a few:
TechneGen™ is key to NorthStar's New Drug Application to the FDA for production of Technetium-99m.
Supply Chain Influence
All current US molybdenum-99 supply and two of the companies working with the DOE/NNSA follow this supply chain model. The cost to produce the uranium targets and disposal of the waste is expected to increase the costs of molybdenum-99 in the near future.
NorthStar is handling the molybdenum- 99 supply chain delivering to the nuclear pharmacy with a single cost of goods sold and a single overhead structure. Combining this fact along with an inexpensive raw material cost and a reusable generator system provides NorthStar with a powerful competitive advantage in the market place.
Molybdenum-99 Production Waste
produced Mo99 (3)
produced Mo99 (3)
U238, U235, U234 (1)
|Alpha emitting waste||Yes||Yes||No|
- Half-lives: U238, 4.5 billion years; U235, 704 million years; U234, 246,000 years; Pu239, 24,110 years
- Includes long-lived technetium-99
- The waste included in these two raw material approaches are difficult to dispose of and the cost associated with disposal is significant.
- The cost to dispose of NorthStar's waste is significantly lower than processes using uranium based raw material.
- NorthStar has the ability to recover its raw material for reuse, thus reducing the cost of its raw material and reducing the volume of material to be handled as waste.