Department of Energy

Department of Energy to Negotiate Cooperative Agreements on the Production of Molybdenum-99 with Four U.S. Companies

February 20, 2019

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Vital medical isotope is used in over 40,000 medical procedures in the United States each day.

WASHINGTON – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) has completed its evaluation of applications submitted in response to a funding opportunity for the production of Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) without the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU).

“Mo-99 is such a critical tool in healthcare. Doctors count on it every day,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “This industry outreach helps to develop a reliable domestic supply of a vital medical isotope, reduce dependence on foreign imports, and bring new opportunity to the heartland.”

Based upon the evaluations and recommendations of an independent technical review panel, DOE/NNSA selected the following four U.S. companies to begin negotiations for potential new cooperative agreement awards.

  • NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes, LLC, located in Beloit, Wisconsin
  • SHINE Medical Technologies, located in Janesville, Wisconsin
  • Northwest Medical Isotopes, located in Corvallis, Oregon 
  • Niowave, Inc., located in Lansing, Michigan 

With support from Congress, DOE/NNSA is appropriated to fund cooperative agreements up to $15 million for each company.  Industry partners will match any awarded funding amount. 

DOE/NNSA is supporting the establishment of a redundant, reliable supply of Mo-99 produced in the United States without the use of HEU.  Therefore, the United States is supporting companies to achieve the objective of supplying approximately 3,000 six-day curies of Mo-99 per week.

In addition to these cooperative agreements, DOE/NNSA also funds National Laboratories to advance industry efforts to produce Mo-99 domestically without HEU.

Mo-99 is used in over 40,000 procedures in the United States every day to diagnose heart disease and cancer, to study organ structure and function, and for other important medical applications.

The American Medical Isotopes Production Act (AMIPA) of 2012 directed DOE/NNSA to implement a technology-neutral program, in cooperation with non-Federal entities.  A technology-neutral program is open to all methods of producing Mo-99 without using HEU.

For more information on DOE/NNSA efforts to establish a reliable supply of Mo‑99 without the use of HEU, click here.

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