Russia, Thailand cooperate in cyclotron complex

11 September 2017

Rosatom and Kinetics Corporation are to supply a cyclotron complex with radiochemical laboratories to the Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology (TINT). Their cooperation follows the award of a turnkey contract to Kinetics, a Thai engineering and scientific equipment supplier, via a tender held by TINT. Rusatom Healthcare, a subsidiary of the Russian state nuclear corporation, will act as the technology provider.

Rosatom said on 7 September the core of the complex will be a MCC-30/15 cyclotron of 30 MeV proton energy. It will also be used to produce isotopes for PET and SPECT diagnostics. These isotopes help determine the stage of oncological, cardiac, and neurological diseases accurately, Rosatom said. In many cases this may be almost the only way to prescribe appropriate treatment, it added.

The facility will be located at Ongkharak Nuclear Research Centre in Nakhon Nayok. With an area of more than 5400 cubic metres, the new complex will accommodate a cyclotron and several laboratories for the production of radiopharmaceuticals for nuclear medicine and other purposes, as well as serve as a platform for R&D activities.

All the isotopes for SPECT - single-photon emission computed tomography - in Thailand are imported, with some PET - positron-emission tomography - isotopes produced in hospitals locally in amounts that cannot meet demand, Rosatom said. The new cyclotron supplied will therefore enable Thailand to produce its own isotopes and will also drive R&D in nuclear medicine, as well as in the application of nuclear technologies in different areas of industry, it added.

Alexander Merten, president of Rusatom International Network, said the project will help to save lives and to boost innovation in Thailand. Rosatom has "decades of experience" in designing and manufacturing nuclear healthcare and R&D solutions, he said, and there are 14 radionuclide production facilities operating in Russia. Rusatom International Network manages Rosatom's offices overseas.

Dr Pornthep Nisamaneepong, TINT executive director, said the cyclotron facility will provide ion beams for medical radioisotope production, industrial use and multidisciplinary research.

"It will not only improve quality of life of Thai people through the availability of radiopharmaceuticals, but also increase economic competitiveness of Thailand through the applications and development in ion beam technology," he said.

"The objectives of the project are the provision of accelerator-based medical radioisotopes, provision of ion beam research facility for physics, biology, material science, as well as provision of irradiation services for electronic, automobile and telecommunications industries. The facility will also serve a platform for HR development in accelerator physics and ion beam applications.

"Our plans comply with the national strategy Thailand 4.0, since the development of nuclear technologies will have positive and social economic impact to our country," he added.

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News