PROGRESS TO DATE

On May 3, 2018, NWMI received approval to start RPF construction by the NRC under the provisions of Title 10, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 50 (10 CFR 50), “Domestic Licensing of Production and Utilization Facilities” (NRC CLI-18-06, “Memorandum and Order”). On December 18, 2017, NWMIrequested an exemption from 10 CFR 70.21, “Filing” (Haass, 2017a), as supplemented on March 12, 2018 (Haass, 2018a). The exemption will allow NWMI to commence construction of the entire NWMI RPF based on the environmental review conducted for the 10 CFR 50 construction permit, which was issued to NWMI on May 3, 2018 (NRC CLI-18-06). The NRC evaluated the environmental impacts from the 10 CFR 70 target fabrication activities in the RPF as part of its EIS supporting the NWMI 10 CFR 50 Construction Permit Application (NUREG-2209, Environmental Impact Statement for Construction Permit for the Northwest Medical Isotopes Radioisotope Production Facility, Final Report). 

The RPF has been sited in Discovery Ridge Research Park (Discovery Ridge) in Columbia, Missouri and will produce at least 99Mo through a fission-based process, the “gold standard.” 

The NWMI LEU targets will be irradiated in the university reactors where 6% of collisions result in the formation of 99Mo, as depicted in Figure 1-2. The NWMI process is well understood, reliable, predictable, and once extracted and purified, produces high-specific activity 99Mo. Radio- pharmaceutical distributors in the U.S. use 

U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved generators for 99Mo produced by this method. 

RPF OPERATIONAL ACTIVITIES INCLUDE:

  • Receiving LEU from DOE 

  • Producing LEU target materials and fabrication of targets 

  • Packaging and shipping LEU targets to the university reactor network for irradiation 

  • Returning irradiated LEU targets for dissolution, recovery, and purification of 99Mo 

  • Packaging 99Mo product to prepare for transport to radiopharmaceutical generator manufacturers 

  • Recovering and recycling LEU to minimize radioactive, mixed, and hazardous waste generation 

  • Treating/packaging wastes generated by RPF process steps and prepare for transport and disposal