National Nuclear Security Administration

NNSA awards cooperative agreements for the production of molybdenum-99 to three U.S. companies

July 22, 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 negotiations for three cooperative agreement awards for the production of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) without the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU). These awards were negotiated and agreed upon with the vendors following the selection of potential awardees in February.

“Mo-99 is a critical medical isotope that empowers us to fight back against heart disease and cancer,” said Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator. “These agreements will facilitate its domestic production without highly enriched uranium, greatly reducing the potential for proliferation of nuclear materials.”

Congress appropriated $40 million for these awards in Fiscal Year (FY) 2018 and $20 million in FY 2019 and directed the Department to issue a Funding Opportunity Announcement to competitively award cooperative agreements. NNSA will fund each agreement at $15 million and require each awardee to provide $15 million of matching funds.

Based upon the evaluations and recommendations of an independent panel, the following companies will receive a cooperative agreement award:

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

Negotiations for a fourth cooperative agreement with Northwest Medical Isotopes, located in Corvallis, Oregon are ongoing.

NNSA is supporting the establishment of 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.

Mo-99 is used in over 40,000 medical procedures in the United States each day, including the diagnosis of heart disease and cancer.

The American Medical Isotopes Production Act of 2012 directed 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.

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