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High Pure Radioisotopes


Development of Production Technologies of High Pure Radioactive Isotopes for Medical and Biological Application on the Base of the Research fast Neutrons Reactor

Tech Area / Field

  • FIR-ISO/Isotopes/Fission Reactors

3 Approved without Funding

Registration date

Leading Institute
FEI (IPPE), Russia, Kaluga reg., Obninsk


  • Boston University/Center for Advanced Biotechnology, USA, MA, Boston

Project summary

The radiopharmaceuticals and compounds labeled by radionuclides of a high specific activity arc widely used for modern researches in the field of molecular biology, microbiology, enzymology, and medical biochemistry. The major biogeneous elements in medical and biological researches arc P-33, P-32, and S-35 due to their nuclear and physical characteristics. For the purpose of these radionuclides production nuclear thermal neutrons reactors arc used in the world practice though only high energy neutrons with an energy > 1 MeV participate the production of P-33, P-32, and S-35.

Proceeding from the above mentioned it seems to be reasonable to use fast neutrons reactors for targets irradiation. It will considerably increase a specific activity value of the produced radioactive raw material.

The radiopharmaceuticais based on Sr-89 isotope are used for a therapy of cancer diseases so the requirements to Sr-89 specific activity level as well as its radionuclide purity are high especially. The applied technology of Sr-89 isotope production (based on the irradiation of stable Sr-88 isotope in thermal neutrons flux (reaction (n,g)) in fact comes to the production of Sr-89 with Sr-88 carrier. The proposed technology of Sr-89 extraction from Y-89 (fast neutrons reaction (n,p)) provides a possibility of Sr-89, carrier free, production. Sr-89 pharmaceuticals without a carrier will excel the existing world analogues in specific activity by 2 orders of magnitude under the same high level of the radionuclide purity. The radiopharmaceuticals based on Sn-117m isotope for a diagnostics and therapy of cancel-diseases are only begun to be developed nowadays. Primary medical and technical requirements to the specific activity of a pharmaceutical with Sn-117m isotope arc > 5 Ci/g. It is impossible to produce this pharmaceutical with the specific activity > 1 Ci/g in a thermal neutrons reactor. But the irradiation in a fast neutrons reactor allows to produce Sn-117m with the specific activity > 7 Ci/g.

Project purpose:

1. to develop a production technology of high pure P-33, P-32, S-35, Sr-89, and Sn-117m radioisotopes for medical and biological application by using of the research fast neutrons reactor BR-10 in the SSC-RF-IPPE.
2. to create a scientific and technical base for a routine production of these radioisotopes and labeled compounds dedicated to diagnostics, therapy and scientific researches in Russia and other countries by using of the radiochemical complex available in the SSC-RF-IPPE as a base.
3. to re-orientate weapons scientific researches and weapons production to decide tasks of the civil sector; to involve weapons scientists in the long-term project on medical products manufacturing.

At present the SSC-RF-IPPE has a research fast neutrons reactor; "hot" cells for the primary processing of radioactive raw materials; free premises; a team of specialists - scientists, engineers, designers, workers - who have methods and technical means necessary for the proposed project execution - the technology development and a preparation of a routine production of high pure radioisotopes for medical application.

The following results of the project's execution arc expected: the production technologies of P-33, P-32, S-35, Sr-89, and Sn-117m will be developed as well as a routine production of these isotopes with the higher quality parameters that the existing analogues have. The mentioned isotopes will meet requirements placed for medical products. Newly developed radiopharmaceuticats on the base of Sn-117m are original ones. They don't have analogues in the world. The radiopharmaceuticals on the base of Sr-89, which are being developed in the IPPE, have so high specific activity and radionuclide purity level which can't be achieved by wring of the existing technologies of Sr-89 production.

Medical institutions (foreign included) should be involved in this project with a view to participate a development of the production technology of new radiopharmaceuticals when general chemical and process activities have been completed. These institutions can perform medical and clinical trials of these preparations.


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