Economic evaluation of radiopharmaceutical Mo-99 production in reactor and accelerators in Iran

Document Type : Conference Proceedings


MSc student of Nuclear Engineering (Radiotherapy) in Shiraz University


Radioisotope ๐‘‡๐‘-99m is one of the most important in the field for thyroid imaging, intestinal or bladder appendages, blood vessel imaging, detecting blood clots, bone imaging, etc. This necessary radioisotope is the daughter of a nuclear-radioactive molybdenum-99 that is manufacturing in accelerators or research reactors. Our world now needs 12000 Ci. Given the growing trend in nuclear medicine imaging, the economic issue of producing the radioisotopes required for these images is going to be important. In this paper, using the TALYS code and the software SRIM, TRIM and MATLAB, we compared the accelerator gain with the reactor and provided an optimized method for Iran.
Materials and Methods:
Using the TALYS code, we find the dependence of the cross-sectional energy on energy and then, using the SRIM code, we consider the energy dependence of the protons in depth penetration. Using MATLAB, we obtain the mean value of the cross section using the equations from TALYS, and obtain yield for protons we guess demand Iran’s need.
So if we have two 30 Mev (and 300µA) accelerators in the two three-day sets in week with a one-day rest having irradiate, then Iran needs about 70-80 Ci will be satisfy, and the rest of the demand for Tehran will be from in direct way of Tc-99m production. In this case, for each accelerator per week, we need about 2 grams per week and for direct production of Tc, 40 mg of enriched molybdenum 100 per day is needed, which costs are calculated.
Even without considering the cost of electricity and waste disposal and separation, and only by comparing the annual uranium cost with the total accelerator cost, we will find that the accelerator method is much more convenient and reasonable. In the accelerator method, regardless of the initial cost of the devices, we annually had the cost of electricity and enriched molybdenum and other costs that are shared with the reactor (employee salaries and separation, etc.). Perhaps these costs are higher in the reactor. In addition, we have a lot of problems with the acquisition of enriched uranium and we buy it at a great price from Argentina or Russia. Or the cost of molybdenum 99 at an annual price of $ 4 million from Russia, which can be produced at a lower cost at home and, in addition to economic optimization, also leads to entrepreneurship.


  • Receive Date: 21 May 2018
  • Revise Date: 06 May 2019
  • Accept Date: 06 July 2018
  • First Publish Date: 01 December 2018