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Funding in place for European isotope facility SHINE: New Nuclear

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February 02, 2022

SHINE Technologies of the United States announced that its European subsidiary, SHINE Europe, has secured funding to begin designing an advanced medical isotope production facility at Veendam in the Netherlands.

Rendering of the SHINE medical isotope production facility to be built in Veendam, the Netherlands (Image: SHINE)

The company said that the current phase of its European project is funded by the province of Groningen and the federal state of the Netherlands. Other SHINE investors include leading global private and public entities such as Baillie Gifford, Koch Disruptive Technologies, Fidelity, Deerfield Management Company and Oaktree Capital Management.

SHINE said the new facility will leverage its “innovative production systems” to produce medical isotopes, including molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), which is currently used in millions of diagnostic imaging procedures each year to help diagnose various life-threatening diseases in patients across the globe.

“The new facility is expected to develop medical isotopes in a process that is highly reliable, environmentally friendly and less expensive than traditional methods, also without adding an exponential tax burden to build new European reactors,” he added.

SHINE announced in May last year the selection of Veendam as the site of its European medical isotope production facility following a year-long research process that included the review of more than 50 sites across Europe. Construction of the Veendam facility is expected to begin in 2023, with commercial production expected to start in late 2025.

“Once operational, SHINE Europe demonstrates an innovative EU initiative that delivers critical medical care through new technology,” said SHINE Founder and CEO Greg Piefer.

“It’s like comparing a journey in Mercedes-Benz’s first gas-powered car in the 1880s to an innovative journey inside today’s Tesla. Simply put, we believe our technology will provide a solution to for the production of medical isotopes. We believe that in just a few years, and with a significant share of investment coming from private funding, SHINE Europe will provide essential Mo-99 to millions of European patients without depending on reactors aging.”

SHINE is currently building its first production facility, using its transformational reactorless technology, in Janesville, Wisconsin. The company broke ground on its production facility in the United States in May 2019. The plant is expected to be the world’s largest medical isotope production facility by capacity. SHINE plans to begin producing Mo-99 at the site in late 2022. The facility will be able to meet two-thirds of US patient demand for Mo-99.

The company is also exploring the potential production of additional isotopes such as iodine-131 and xenon-133, among others. Once SHINE Europe is fully operational, SHINE expects the combined production of Mo-99 from the two facilities to cover up to 70% of the world’s need for Mo-99 used in daily diagnostic imaging.

Research and writing by World Nuclear News