Taking aim at disease

February 16, 2024, 3:02PMNuclear NewsKristi Nelson Bumpus
ORNL radioisotope manufacturing coordinator Jillene Sennon-Greene places a shipment vial of actinium-225 inside the dose calibrator to confirm its activity is within customer specifications. (Photo: Carlos Jones/ORNL, DOE)

On August 2, 1946, 1 millicurie of the isotope carbon-14 left Oak Ridge National Laboratory, bound for the Barnard Free Skin and Cancer Hospital in St. Louis, Mo.

That tiny amount of the radioisotope was purchased by the hospital for use in cancer studies. And it heralded a new peacetime mission for ORNL, built just a few years earlier for the production of plutonium from uranium for the Manhattan Project.

The road to wellness: The task of getting lifesaving medical isotopes to patients

February 2, 2024, 3:01PMNuclear NewsTim Gregoire
A vial of Ac-225 produced by Niowave stands next to its lead shipping pig. (Photo: Niowave)

According to the Council on Radionuclides and Radiopharmaceuticals, more than 82,000 nuclear imaging procedures using nuclear medicine are performed throughout the world every day. To administer these vital medical procedures, radiopharmaceutical companies and hospitals rely on a handful of producers of medical radioisotopes.

Researchers at CERN trap thorium isomers in quest for a nuclear clock

May 26, 2023, 12:00PMNuclear News
The ISOLDE facility. (Photo: CERN)

Today’s atomic clocks are exceptional timepieces that won’t lose or gain a second in 30 billion years. But if you’re looking for even more precision, you’ll be glad to learn that physicists at CERN’s ISOLDE nuclear physics facility have observed the decay of thorium-229 nuclei trapped in a crystalline structure and confirmed the potential for a nuclear clock. CERN announced the news on May 24.

Protein shows potential to accelerate cancer therapy research and application

October 25, 2021, 3:05PMNuclear News
LLNL and Penn State researchers developed a new approach to study and purify medical isotopes, including actinium. (Image: Thomas Reason/LLNL)

Scientists at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Pennsylvania State University have demonstrated that a natural protein found bonded to rare earth elements can be recovered and used as a tool to purify and effectively manage radioactive metals that show promise for cancer therapy and the detection of illicit nuclear activities.