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A sustainable future for nuclear imaging


Each year, millions of patients benefit from diagnostic services made possible by advances in medical imaging. However, some of these services rely on the supply of 99mTc from an ageing nuclear infrastructure. Kevin Charlton discusses new technologies to secure a sustainable supply.

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Fig. 1: Conventional and alternative technologies for 99mTc production.


  1. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The supply of medical radioisotopes: an economic study of the molybdenum-99 supply chain. OECD–NEA (2010).

  2. 112th Congress. S.99 — American Medical Isotopes Production Act of 2011. govinfo (2011).

  3. Committee on State of Molybdenum-99 Production and Utilization and Progress Toward Eliminating Use of Highly Enriched Uranium; Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board; Division on Earth and Life Studies; National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Molybdenum-99 for Medical Imaging (National Academies Press, 2016).

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Correspondence to Kevin Charlton.

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The author declares no competing interests.

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Celebrating the 60th anniversary of the 99m Tc generator:

NorthStar Solutions: RadioGenix System:

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Charlton, K. A sustainable future for nuclear imaging. Nat Rev Phys 1, 530–532 (2019).

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