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HEU – A2 – X-Rays Solve


Isotopes are exponentially more effective than X-Rays

CBC News 10 (12/23/10, http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/story/2009/05/19/f-medical-isotopes.html) JPG

Put simply, medical isotopes give off energy that can be detected by imaging equipment. When isotopes are injected into your body, a doctor can — for example — get a clear picture of how your heart is working. The doctor can see whether you're a heart attack waiting to happen. They'll see enough to know whether you should go straight to the hospital for bypass surgery. The isotopes provide far more information than an ultrasound. They make bone scans far more effective than X-rays. In a bone scan, radioactive material is injected into a vein in the arm. The material travels through the bloodstream and eventually settles in the bones. This will give doctors information on cell activity from which they can tell if you have stress factures in your feet or whether the cancer in another part of your body has spread to the bones. Bone scans can detect problems days or even months before X-rays.



HEU – A2 – “Other Isotopes Solve”


Alternative approaches fail

Ruth 9 (Thomas J. – senior research scientist @ TRIUMF and senior scientist @ British Columbia Cancer Research Centre, Oct. 2009, http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/200910/ruth.cfm) JPG

This medical crisis is clearly a mix of technical and political issues. From this analysis, it appears that there are few viable alternative approaches to the supply of Mo-99 or Tc-99m for widespread distribution. In the meantime, production of research radionuclides has been transferred within the DOE from the Nuclear Energy program to the Nuclear Physics (NP) program. As part of that process NP organized a workshop and assembled an Advisory committee to help them outline a path forward. Obviously the Mo-99 was the elephant in the room because of its overriding consequences to the field of Nuclear Medicine. While no part of the charge to the committee dealt with options for producing Mo-99, the discussions for producing research radionuclides often included possible solutions for Mo-99 including some of the approaches discussed here. The report from NSAC Isotopes report is due to be published during the summer of 2009. With the termination of the Maple project, alternative approaches need to be explored in comparison to the cost of constructing and commissioning a new reactor facility, in particular the possibility of using photon-induced fission of U-238.


Other isotopes don’t solve – cant fill in gaps in US supply

Kramer 11 (David, MD, specializes in cardiology and internal medicine, February 2011, http://physicstoday.org/resource/1/phtoad/v64/i2/p17_s1) JPG

With a half-life of 66 hours, 99Mo is used in 80% of all nuclear medical procedures. In the US, roughly 16 million patients a year undergo procedures that employ its decay product, metastable technetium-99m. With a six-hour half-life, 99mTc is the preferred radioactive tracer, or imaging agent, in most radiopharmaceuticals that are targeted to particular organs or specific kinds of cells. An imaging technique known as single-photon-emission computed tomography is used to assemble a three-dimensional image from the radiation collected by a rotating gamma camera. Although the US consumes half the world’s output of 99Mo, it has no domestic producer.


Alternatives to this isotope fail

USA Today 9 (8/14/9, http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2009-08-14-isotope-shortage_N.htm) JPG

Bone scans checking for the spread of cancer account for the next-highest use of the isotope. An alternative substance for bone scans is not widely available nor is the equipment to use it, Norenberg said. In addition, Medicaid, Medicare and other insurance won't reimburse for it. Graham said no reasonable alternatives exist for a number of studies, such as evaluating kidney function.




HEU – A2 – “You Don’t Use U-238”


Dwindling supply forces use of uranium 238

Ruth 9 (Thomas J. – senior research scientist @ TRIUMF and senior scientist @ British Columbia Cancer Research Centre, Oct. 2009, http://www.aps.org/units/fps/newsletters/200910/ruth.cfm) JPG

In the meantime, production of research radionuclides has been transferred within the DOE from the Nuclear Energy program to the Nuclear Physics (NP) program. As part of that process NP organized a workshop and assembled an Advisory committee to help them outline a path forward. Obviously the Mo-99 was the elephant in the room because of its overriding consequences to the field of Nuclear Medicine. While no part of the charge to the committee dealt with options for producing Mo-99, the discussions for producing research radionuclides often included possible solutions for Mo-99 including some of the approaches discussed here. The report from NSAC Isotopes report is due to be published during the summer of 2009. With the termination of the Maple project, alternative approaches need to be explored in comparison to the cost of constructing and commissioning a new reactor facility, in particular the possibility of using photon-induced fission of U-238.



HEU – A2 – New Facilities


New facilities wont be built – poor business model

Johnston 10 (Hamish, editor @ physicsworld.com, 12/3/10, http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/44527) JPG

According to Ronald Cameron, head of the NEA's Nuclear Development Division, many of the industry's woes are related to the fact that the current economic model of production is not sustainable. Molybdenum-99 production began as a sideline for research reactors and as a result many facilities were locked into long-term supply contracts at low prices, he says. In some cases, according to Cameron, the price of the isotopes does not cover the operating cost of the reactor. Indeed, the HLG-MR report says "current economic return on producing molybdenum-99 at the reactor is not sufficient to support the development of new infrastructure for the production of molybdenum-99; a new multi-purpose research reactor has been estimated to cost more than €400m". However, Cameron stresses that new facilities could be cost-effective if they pursued different business models.


**Atmosphere DA




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