Regulatory approval for the production of new isotopes at Bruce: Regulatory and Safety


September 28, 2021

Bruce Power of Canada has received approval from the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission for the commercial production of the medical radioisotope lutetium-177 (Lu-177) at its nuclear power plants. The project to produce the innovative therapeutic isotope, which is used in the treatment of prostate cancer and neuroendocrine tumors, is a partnership between Bruce Power, IsoGen, Saugeen Ojibway Nation (SON) and ITM.

The Bruce Nuclear Power Plant (Image: @Bruce_Power)

IsoGen, a joint venture of Framatome and Kinectrics, designed and manufactured the Isotope Production System (IPS) that will be used to produce Lu-177 by irradiating ytterbium targets inside Bruce’s Candu reactors. The IPS is installed as part of the ongoing life extension program, which began in 2016, and aims to add approximately 30 to 35 years of operational life to each reactor at the Bruce site in Ontario.

As the commissioning process continues, there will be additional regulatory holdpoints to allow CNSC staff to confirm the operational readiness of the IPS before production begins. of Lu-177, said Bruce Power. The company will finalize the documentation and CNSC staff will review the commissioning test results to verify that the IPS meets its design and safety analysis requirements.

The irradiated targets will then be processed by ITM based in Germany to produce pharmaceutical grade Lu-177 without added carrier, which will be marketed under the name Endolucin Beta.

Bruce Power is one of the world’s largest producers of cobalt-60 – used for sterilization of single-use medical devices as well as in cancer treatments – through its partnership with Nordion. The company said the approved Lu-177 project will expand its established isotope production and “solidify” it as an integral producer of critical medical isotopes. Development director James Scongack said Project Lu-177 is a game-changer for the supply of medical isotopes and the global medical community.

SON worked with Bruce Power to create economic benefits in SON’s territory – which encompasses the Saugeen (Bruce) Peninsula – by establishing a new isotope infrastructure related to lutetium-177 production, and became the year last the first Aboriginal community to join the Canadian Nuclear Isotopes Council.

Chief Lester Anoquot, Chippewas of Saugeen First Nation, said: “This is a very exciting time for SON as we move into the next phase of the Isotope project with Bruce Power… We are proud to play a leadership role. leader in the global fight against cancer, while creating economic opportunities in our community.

The partnership, which includes an equity stake and a revenue sharing model for SON, is named Gamzook’aamin aakoziwin, which means “We team up against disease” in the traditional Anishinaabe language.

Research and writing by World Nuclear News

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