Urenco launches new radioisotope cascade

06 October 2021

Urenco Stable Isotopes has expanded its stable and medical isotopes facility in Almelo, the Netherlands, officially opening its new Leonardo da Vinci cascade yesterday. The company - a subsidiary of uranium enrichment company Urenco Nederland BV - said the move was in response to growing demand for medical isotopes.

Pictured left to right: Ad Louter, Manager Director, Urenco Nederlands; Arjen Gerritsen, Mayor of Almelo; Boris Schucht, Urenco CEO; Arjan Bos, Business Unit Manager, Urenco Stable Isotopes (Image: Urenco)

Urenco Nederland is unique because besides uranium enrichment it also uses its centrifuge technology to produce a variety of stable isotopes for medical, industrial and research applications. Urenco Stable Isotopes has operated for over three decades at Almelo. Each year, more than 100,000 patient treatments are performed using nuclear medicines produced with Urenco's stable isotopes.

The new cascade - named after Italian Renaissance polymath Leonardo da Vinci - is designed for the enrichment of multiple isotopes, including cadmium, germanium, iridium, molybdenum, selenium, tellurium, titanium, tungsten, xenon and zinc.

"The growing market in this field has led us to expand our facility to meet the demand, especially for products in the medical field - for example, xenon-129," Urenco said. "This product is used in MRI imaging to detect lung diseases. Urenco Stable Isotopes is also conducting research to discover solutions for cancer treatment."

"Already, hundreds of thousands of patients are treated every year with products made from our enriched stable and medical isotopes," said Urenco Group CEO Boris Schucht. "Other applications of our products are very varied and include superfast computer processing power. We are looking forward to working with customers on new research and development projects, producing high-quality, cost-efficient products and solutions that will change lives."

Researched and written by World Nuclear News