[ RadSafe ] Lucas Height

edmond0033 edmond0033 at comcast.net
Fri Dec 7 10:50:28 CST 2007

There was a time when Mo was used to produce Mo-99.  However, a large amount 
of  waste was produced.  Also the activity was not as high as the Mo-99 
produced from fission.  There were also other related problems.  As Franz 
stated there are those who believe that the monies from the Iraq adventure 
could be used for health purposes.  Don't believe that as the money would 
not be made available for this purpose.  There are those who claim that our 
Social Security (SS)will run out of money in the near future.  Yet the same 
people still want SS to cover more and more people.  Our Hospitals are full 
of people with no health insurance, causing some of them to close, as no one 
can be turned away.  The reimbursement form the State is aways less. I like 
to tell the story of my was visit to an Emergency Room in Maryland.  The 
rooms were filled with sick people and when they found out I had a good 
policy, they immediately took her.  Also in one night she was visited by six 
Doctors.  Fortunately my insurance covered the visits.  I believe I paid for 
many others.  Here in Massachusetts, we are heading towards a system where 
everyone is covered.  Yet there are those who won't or 'can't' pay.  There 
those who can't afford it will be covered, but they must declare their 
incomes.  There is an old saying that says  " what goes around comes 
around".  The lack of Mo-99, at least in the US is off our own doing.

Ed Baratta

edmond0033 at comcast.net
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Chris van den Bergen" <Christopher.Van-Den-Bergen at adm.monash.edu.au>
To: "RADSAFE" <radsafe at radlab.nl>
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2007 7:41 PM
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] Lucas Height

Hi Radsafers,
I recently attended a radiation training course held at the Lucas Height
facility, so I have some knowledge of the OPAL reactor, but certainly
not a lot. The new reactor first went critical in August last year, and
was officially opened in April of this year. They have certainly had
some issues in regard to opposition from people with anti-nuclear
sentiment, but the need for a nuclear reactor far outweighs the
objections of these people. Unfortunately, the reactor is currently off
line due to difficulties with the fuel assemblies, but should be
operating again towards the start of next year.
I was under the impression that at OPAL the Mo99 was produced by the
transmutation of a target placed in the high neutron flux from the
reactor. I believe that the target was stable Mo, but I could be
incorrect, as I never got to talk to anyone who dealt with this side of
the operation. In addition to production of radioisotopes for medicine
and industry, the facility is the hub for nuclear science and technology
in Australia.
So, OPAL does indeed produced Mo99. However, considering that it is
currently not operational, I suspect that we have some shortages in
Tc99m ourselves. I suspect that they are still producing some Mo99m
using the cyclotron, but this is purely speculation.


Franz Schönhofer wrote:

>Dear RADSAFErs,
>I remember reading about the fierce discussions with „greens“ about the
>replacement of the old Lucas Height Research Reactor. I have not followed
>the discussion afterwards closely, but is it correct, that  a new reactor
>has already been installed, especially as a production center for
>radionuclides for medical use?
>Any information from down under will be appreciated!
>Franz Schoenhofer, PhD
>MinRat i.R.
>Habicherg. 31/7
>A-1160 Wien/Vienna

Chris van den Bergen
Assistant Radiation Protection Officer
Occupational Health, Safety and Environment
Building 11, Room S703
Monash University, Clayton, Vic 3800
Telephone: +61 3 9905 1101 (Wed, Thu, Fri)
Fax:       +61 3 9905 2580

You are currently subscribed to the RadSafe mailing list

Before posting a message to RadSafe be sure to have read and understood the 
RadSafe rules. These can be found at: 

For information on how to subscribe or unsubscribe and other settings visit: 

More information about the RadSafe mailing list