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People Strong - Innovation Driven

Medical Isotopes

The need for medical isotopes used in modern diagnostic imaging is ever increasing. And, concerns about an adequate supply to diagnose heart disease and cancer, and to perform other important medical applications are compelling. At BWX Technologies, Inc. (BWXT), our talented scientists and engineers have developed a unique solution to meet this critical growing demand.

Featuring a patent-pending neutron capture process, this innovative technology is designed to produce molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), the parent isotope of technetium-99m (Tc-99m), which is used globally in more than 30 million medical procedures each year.

Tc-99m Generator

BWXT's prototype Tc-99m generator. Actual size not pictured.

What makes our medical isotopes technology different?

BWXT’s technology yields high concentrations of Tc-99m eluate available from conventional Mo-99 sources without reliance on the irradiation of enriched uranium targets. In stark contrast to traditional fission-based processes, radioactive waste streams are mitigated and nuclear proliferation concerns are eliminated.

The Mo-99 produced through our process is housed in BWXT-manufactured Tc-99m generators, from which Tc-99m will be extracted for medical imaging and diagnostic procedures.

How will we meet the demand for medical isotopes?

The irradiation of molybdenum targets is required in order to supply of medical isotopes. We have selected Canadian Nuclear Partners, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation, to perform these irradiation services, and will proceed with negotiating a definitive agreement.

Contingent upon regulatory approval, BWXT has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Nordion’s medical isotope business from Sotera Health, the leading global provider of mission-critical services to the healthcare industry. This opportunistic acquisition is a key component of streamlining the implementation of our new technology through the final stages of commercialization.

Through our development of this innovative technology, BWXT seeks to enter the medical isotope and radiopharmaceutical industry and furnish a stable North American-based supply of Mo-99 and Tc-99m. Together, our intellectual property, licensed infrastructure and highly trained and experienced personnel are paramount in creating this lifesaving product.