Strontium: Supply-and-demand success for the DOE’s Isotope Program

May 2, 2024, 3:15PMNuclear News
ORNL’s High Flux Isotope Reactor, where Sr-89 and other radioisotopes are produced, photographed during a 2015 refueling. (Photo: ORNL)

The Department of Energy’s Isotope Program (DOE IP) announced last week that it would end its “active standby” capability for strontium-82 production about two decades after beginning production of the isotope for cardiac diagnostic imaging. The DOE IP is celebrating commercialization of the Sr-82 supply chain as “a success story for both industry and the DOE IP.” Now that the Sr-82 market is commercially viable, the DOE IP and its National Isotope Development Center can “reassign those dedicated radioisotope production capacities to other mission needs”—including Sr-89.