22 April

The project aims to achieve an industrial scale increase in the sustained production of Molybdenum-99, a key element for treatments and practices in nuclear medicine.

From 15 to 17 April, Workshop Nº 1 corresponding to the 2023 Specific Agreement for the execution of the conceptual design of a Mo-99 / I-131 Fission Production Facility (FRPF) was held at the Ezeiza Atomic Center. The project engaged technical teams from both the Argentine National Commission of Atomic Energy (CNEA) and INVAP, the organizations spearheading the initiative.

The FRPF Plus Project is strategic for the country because the facility will allow industrial-scale processing of the targets to be irradiated in the Argentine Multipurpose Reactor RA-10 and obtain sustained production of Mo-99, I-131 (among others Lu-177).

The conceptual design of the plant involves nuclear regulatory requirements, as well as Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines for pharmaceutical products, in order to obtain a final product that meets the highest standards for export.

This project, which is part of the RA-10 Complex, will occupy a relevant portion of the international market supplying up to 2500 Ci/6 days of Mo-99. This achievement will position our country at the same level as the major producers of radioisotopes for health, such as the plants in Holland (Curium), Belgium (IRE), South Africa (NTP), Russia (Rosatom) and Australia (Ansto).

The framework underlying the FRPF Plus Project is the so-called “Social Value Compensation,” linked to the social benefits arising from the nuclear sector, improving and addressing health and industrial sectors. FRPF’s goal is to provide solutions for medium and high complexity medical treatments in our country, as well as to promote innovation within the Argentine industrial sector.

During the workshop held at the Ezeiza Atomic Center, the review of the conceptual engineering was scheduled to be completed next July in order to move forward with the project’s basic engineering.

The direction of the FRPF Plus Project is led by Natalia Stankevicius, Production Manager of Radioisotopes and Radiation Applications (GAPRyAR, in Spanish) at CNEA, and Solange Hernández, Project Manager of FRPF at INVAP’s Nuclear Management. The technical direction is managed by Valeria Ferrero from CNEA and María Cecilia Maneiro from INVAP. The technical team includes 18 experts and management staff from both organizations.