Issue Date: October 19, 2009
Medical Isotope Bill Clears Subpanel
On Oct. 14, a subcommittee of the House Energy & Commerce Committee passed by voice vote a bill to address concerns related to the supply of molybdenum-99 in the U.S. for medical isotopes. H.R. 3276 would promote domestic production of 99Mo, while at the same time phasing out the export of highly enriched uranium for the isotope’s production within seven years. Under the bill, the Department of Energy would be given $163 million to support projects for domestic production of 99Mo without highly enriched uranium, which is the starting material now used to generate the isotope. It would also establish a DOE program to make low-enriched uranium available to domestic isotope producers. DOE would also be charged with asking the National Academy of Sciences to do a study on the state of 99Mo production and utilization, the report of which must be delivered to Congress within five years.
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