A significant change is under way in the production of medicine’s most widely used radioactive material, as governments and manufacturers seek to avoid using enriched uranium.

Radioactive_Medical_SymbolA significant change is under way in the production of medicine’s most widely used radioactive material, which produces images from the heart to the thyroid, and is employed in at least 25 million medical tests each year in the United States.

To reduce the danger of nuclear proliferation, the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration is working to minimize nonmilitary uses of this type of uranium, including those that create medical products.

“We are working hard to support the advancement of this commercial industry to meet patient needs while simultaneously advancing nonproliferation objectives and the minimization of civilian use of [highly enriched uranium],” said Anne Harrington, the agency’s deputy administrator for defense nuclear nonproliferation.

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Source: Peter Gwynne | Inside Science
Image: Inside Science