Shine picks I&C protection system supplier

25 April 2018

Shine Medical Technologies has selected Rock Creek Innovations LLC to lead design and implementation of the instrumentation and control (I&C) protection systems for its medical isotope production facility in Janesville, Wisconsin. Construction of the main production facility at the site is due to start soon.  

TRPS and ESFAS cabinet systems - 400 (SHINE)  
3D model of the cabinet systems designed by Rock Creek Innovations for the Shine production facility (Image: Shine)  

Shine's facility will produce medically important isotopes, including molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), using an accelerator-driven subcritical assembly - not a nuclear reactor - to irradiate a low-enriched uranium target solution.

Molybdenum-99 is the precursor of technetium-99m (Tc-99m), the most widely used isotope in nuclear medicine. With a half-life of only 66 hours, Mo-99 cannot be stockpiled, and security of supply is a key concern. Most Mo-99 is currently produced from highly-enriched uranium targets, which are themselves seen as a potential nuclear proliferation risk.

Shine noted that Rock Creek had invented the Highly Integrated Protection System, or HIPS.

"The HIPS takes advantage of the best of both analogue and digital control systems by combining the long-proven analogue safety channel approach used by nuclear protection systems today with the comprehensive diagnostic and self-testing capabilities of digital logic," Shine said. "The HIPS platform has been approved by the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for use in safety-related applications in US nuclear power plants."

Shine submitted its construction licence application to the NRC in 2013. In October 2015, following an independent review of Shine's preliminary safety analysis report, the NRC's advisory committee on reactor safeguards recommended that a construction permit should be issued. In February 2016, the NRC issued a construction permit for the facility, the first it had issued for a non-power utilisation or production facility since 1985.

Ground was broken for Building One at the Janesville site in August last year. Shine announced in February that it had completed construction and taken occupancy of that building, which will initially be used to house the first fully-integrated, full-size Shine production system. During construction of Shine's main production facility, which is due to start soon, Building One will be used to train employees and develop operating experience with equipment.

Gregg Clarkson, president and owner of Rock Creek Innovations, said the Shine team "bring a reliable supply of high surface-area moly-99 to US patients". He added: "Rock Creek Innovations looks forward to being a critical member of the team that sees the Shine project to realisation."

Greg Piefer, founder and CEO of Shine, added: "Rock Creek's creative thinking and passion for partnership are what differentiates them from the traditional nuclear industry contractor. The entrepreneurial, problem-solving culture that Gregg Clarkson brings to his organisation is well-aligned with our needs."

Researched and written
by World Nuclear News