[ RadSafe ] RE: ATR/FFTF "rabbits" & other PR

Jaro jaro-10kbq at sympatico.ca
Mon Apr 21 21:04:32 CDT 2008

Dukelow, James S Jr wrote on Friday, April 11, 2008 5:54 PM
Subject: RE: [ RadSafe ] Nuclear News - Greenpeace complains to EU



E. Idaho nuclear facility working on shuttle reactor device

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) - Researchers in eastern Idaho are building a
device to shuttle radioactive isotopes in and out of a nuclear reactor
in eastern Idaho to help produce medical devices to fight cancer.

The shuttle irradiation system will allow materials used to produce
medical and industrial isotopes to be moved in and out of the Advanced
Test Reactor at the Idaho National Laboratory without having to shut
down the reactor.

IsoRay Medical, a Richland, Wash.-based nuclear medical company, wants
to manufacture cesium-131 at the reactor.

The isotope is used to treat prostate, lung and pancreatic cancer.

Officials say without the shuttle the reactor would have to be shut down
to move the isotopes in and out, making the process more expensive.


The Fast Flux Test Facility, at the Hanford Site, designed in the 60s,
built in the 70s, operated in the 80s, and shutdown now for 15-20 years,
had a pneumatic "rabbit" system for -- gasp -- moving irradiation
targets in and out of the core.  It is good of the INEL public relations
people to keep us informed of this ground-breaking news.

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In a similar vein, we see more "progress" being made at US national labs :

It looked good in the beginning:


DOE Awards Contract To Convert Defense Legacy Material Into Weapon Against
Supply Of Medical Isotopes to be Increased for Clinical Trials and Cancer

October 9, 2003

WASHINGTON, DC - As part of an initiative to clean up Cold War legacy sites,
Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham announced today that the Department of
Energy (DOE) will award a contract to Isotek Systems, LLC, in Oak Ridge,
Tenn., to down blend enriched uranium-233 and extract isotopes that show
great promise in the treatment of deadly cancers.   The contract's total
estimated cost is approximately $128 million dollars over an estimated
nine-year period.

"DOE has an important responsibility to clean up the legacies from the Cold
War," Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham said.   "That we can fulfill this
mission while producing valuable new tools in the fight against cancer is an
exciting and unique opportunity."

Isotek Systems is a limited liability corporation formed by Duratek Federal
Services, Inc., Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc., and Burns and Roe Enterprises,
Inc.  Additionally, DOE's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL),
through a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement, and Theragenics,
Inc., will partner with Isotek to produce and deliver the isotopes.

For more than 30 years, DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has stored more
than 1,200 containers of enriched uranium-233, originally produced at the
department's former defense nuclear materials production plants.   This
uranium, which requires expensive security, safety and environmental
controls, has been stored at a laboratory facility, Building 3019, that
dates back to the Manhattan Project.

The contract award announced today calls for extraction of thorium-229
during the down blending process.  The thorium will be used by Isotek's
partner, Theragenics, Inc., to extract actinium-225 and supply its daughter
product, bismuth-213, for ongoing cancer research, including Phase II
clinical trials for treatment of acute myologenous leukemia.  PNNL will work
with Theragenics on research and development that can optimize the actinium
extraction process.

Production of actinium, including research and development, is a private
venture at no cost to the government.

These isotopes are also being explored for treatment of other serious
cancers of the lungs, pancreas, and kidneys.   As part of the treatment, the
isotopes are bound to monoclonal antibodies that attack the cancer while
minimizing the impact to surrounding tissue.  Over the past five years, the
department has provided modest quantities of actinium-225 for cancer
research.  This project will significantly increase supply.

DOE has developed a three-phased approach to complete this initiative.   The
base contract award is for Phase I, Planning and Design.   Phases II and
III, Project Implementation and Shutdown of the Building 3019 Complex, are
contract options that may be unilaterally exercised by the department.

Additional information on the department's isotope program may be found on
the department's nuclear energy web site, www.nuclear.gov.

- DOE -
Release No. R-03-232

.....but then comes an update from a March 3, 2006 status report:

C. Uranium-233 Disposition at ORNL . Over the last few years, DOE-ORO had
been pursuing a project to extract thorium for medical use from the
uranium-233 (U-233) stored at Building 3019. The project also included
down-blending of the U-233 inventory. This project was nearing completion of
detailed design last summer. As noted on January 6th, Congress had directed
DOE to discontinue the thorium extraction portion of the project and provide
a report on future U-233 management. This report was completed in February
and states that the project design will be modified to eliminate thorium
extraction (if possible) and that the resulting down-blended material will
be packaged for disposal as transuranic waste (i .e., disposal at the Waste
Isolation Pilot Plant). The site reps and staff recently discussed the path
forward for this project with DOE-ORO and contractor (Isotek) personnel.
Isotek believes that the design changes will be straightforward; however,
without the extraction of thorium, operational radiation dose rates will
increase and may require additional project design changes or other

....so much for "converting Defense Legacy Material Into Weapon Against

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