Agency to foster manufacture of vital medical isotope without the need for highly enriched uranium

WASHINGTON – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) issued a funding opportunity announcement (FOA) today to foster commercial-scale domestic production of the medical isotope molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) without the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU).

Companies have until Sept. 30, 2020 11:59 p.m. EST to respond to the FOA with proposals.

“Mo-99 is a vital medical isotope that helps us fight back against heart disease and cancer,” said Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator. “This funding will accelerate efforts to make Mo-99 in America without the use of highly enriched uranium, ensuring that U.S. patients continue to have access to the critical medical care they need while reducing the potential for proliferation of nuclear materials.”

NNSA issued the FOA (DE-FOA-0002303) soliciting applications  from U.S. companies to help them achieve commercial-scale production of Mo-99 without the use of HEU in the United States by Dec. 31, 2023.

NNSA is seeking partners already undertaking projects to produce the isotope without HEU who can demonstrate both technical viability and sufficient private investment to bring their projects to commercial production and become long-term producers in the U.S. market.

Criteria for the awards will be focused on the ability to achieve Mo-99 production of at least 1,500 six-day curies per week by Dec. 31, 2023, and the capacity to increase the production to 3,000 six-day curies per week.

Congress appropriated $35 million for this purpose in Fiscal Year 2020.

NNSA is supporting the establishment of reliable commercial supply of Mo-99 produced in the United States without the use of HEU.  Mo-99 is used in over 40,000 medical procedures in this country each day.

Click here for more information on NNSA efforts to establish a reliable supply of Mo‑99 without the use of HEU.