Bruce Power completes installation of Lu-177 production system

January 27, 2022, 7:00AMNuclear News
Bruce nuclear power plant in Ontario, Canada. (Photo: Bruce Power)

Bruce Power and Isogen, a partnership between Kinectrics and Framatome, have completed the installation of Isogen’s isotope production system (IPS) at Unit 7 of Bruce’s CANDU nuclear power plant in Ontario, Canada, making it the first power reactor in the world with installed capability to produce lutetium-177.

Lu-177 is a medical isotope used in the treatment of various cancers, such as neuroendocrine tumors and prostate cancer. In the future, this system will have the capability to produce other isotopes for medical uses, the companies said.

In September 2021, Bruce Power announced that it had received approval from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission to begin the production of Lu-177 using Isogen’s IPS. Production of the isotope is expected to begin this year.

The supply chain: With the new IPS system, Bruce Power will irradiate ytterbium-176 targets as a first step in the production of no-carrier-added (n.c.a.) Lu-177. Processing of the irradiated Yb-176 for the production of n.c.a. Lu-177, as well as the global supply of n.c.a. Lu-177, will be handled by ITM Isotope Technologies Munich (ITM), a radiopharmaceutical biotech company that is one of the largest producers of Lu-177 for pharmaceutical use.

With the new system now installed, activities will shift to planned commissioning, along with preparation activities for commercial production that will follow once these activities and regulatory submissions are successfully completed.

Bruce Power will market the new isotope supply in a collaborative partnership with Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON). The partnership project with SON, named “Gamzook’aamin Aakoziwin,” includes an equity stake for SON and a revenue-sharing program that provides a direct benefit.

He said it: “This installation of the IPS is an exciting milestone on our journey to becoming the first power reactor in the world to provide a scalable, game-changing solution in the supply of life-saving medical isotopes for the global medical community,” said James Scongack, Bruce Power’s chief development officer and executive vice president of operational services. “Our medical isotope program and the IPS installation are a result of years of innovation and development in partnership with Isogen, Saugeen Ojibway Nation, and ITM and will provide large-scale capacity to help produce medical isotopes, which will be used across the world in new treatments to fight cancer.”

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