This paper discusses the benefits of obtaining (99m)Tc from non-fission reactor-produced low-specific-activity (99)Mo. This scenario is based on establishing a diversified chain of facilities for the distribution of (99m)Tc separated from reactor-produced (99)Mo by (n,γ) activation of natural or enriched Mo. Such facilities have expected lower investments than required for the proposed chain of cyclotrons for the production of (99m)Tc. Facilities can receive and process reactor-irradiated Mo targets then used for extraction of (99m)Tc over a period of 2 wk, with 3 extractions on the same day. Estimates suggest that a center receiving 1.85 TBq (50 Ci) of (99)Mo once every 4 d can provide 1.48-3.33 TBq (40-90 Ci) of (99m)Tc daily. This model can use research reactors operating in the United States to supply current (99)Mo needs by applying natural (nat)Mo targets. (99)Mo production capacity can be enhanced by using (98)Mo-enriched targets. The proposed model reduces the loss of (99)Mo by decay and avoids proliferation as well as waste management issues associated with fission-produced (99)Mo.
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