Monona, WI – May 2, 2013 SHINE Medical Technologies (SHINE) announced today that its development program with Phoenix Nuclear Labs (PNL) reached an important technical milestone by successfully producing 3×1011 neutrons per second with the deuterium-deuterium fusion reaction. Meeting this milestone was a major step in validating SHINE’s technology for producing the medical isotope molybdenum-99 (Mo-99).
“I’m thrilled that we met this important technological milestone,” said Greg Piefer, CEO and Founder of SHINE. “The neutron generator being developed by PNL is an important part of our isotope production facility. This milestone is a big step forward in proving that SHINE has a viable solution for securing a reliable supply of Mo-99 for millions of patients in the U.S.”
Mo-99 is used in over 40 million medical imaging procedures each year, primarily in stress tests to detect heart disease and bone scans to determine the stage of cancer progression. Historically, most Mo-99 used in the U.S. has been produced in nuclear reactors outside of the U.S. that utilize highly enriched uranium (HEU), which is a nuclear proliferation threat. In collaboration with SHINE, the Morgridge Institute for Research is working with the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration to develop a reliable, domestic supply of Mo-99 produced without the use of HEU to ensure that patients have continued access to important diagnostic nuclear medicine procedures.
SHINE intends to build a production facility in Janesville, Wisconsin that will produce more than half of the U.S. demand for Mo-99 by 2016. This facility will utilize eight neutron generators manufactured by PNL to drive the subcritical assemblies in which Mo-99 is produced. By reaching this neutron production milestone, a large part of the technological risk in the project was eliminated. The SHINE effort is being supported by several national laboratories, the University of Wisconsin, the Morgridge Institute for Research, the City of Janesville and the National Nuclear Security Administration.
About Phoenix Nuclear Labs
Founded in 2005 in Middleton, WI, Phoenix Nuclear Labs has developed a proprietary particle accelerator-driven nuclear fusion technology that has applications ranging from medicine to national defense. The company is focused on developing near-term fusion technologies that support the advancement of clean and abundant nuclear fusion power. For more information, visit: phoenixnuclearlabs.com.