China steps up independent production of carbon-14 and other isotopes

According to the China National Nuclear Corporation, mass production of carbon-14 isotopes was achieved using a commercial nuclear reactor.

Domestic production will break an import dependency on carbon-14 isotopes, and has significance for agriculture, chemistry, medicine and biography in the country, sectors that widely use the element in detecting helicobacter pylori and pharmacokinetics research.

The carbon-14 isotope is produced by the Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant in East China’s Zhejiang Province, which is operated by a CNNC subsidiary.

According to Fan Shen, a representative from the power plant, China’s annual demand for carbon-14 isotope used in helicobacter pylori detection alone is around 40 Curies, the total demand of scientific research is around 100 Curies.

Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant’s production capacity can fully meet the current domestic demand, and the final product of the carbon-14 isotope will be supplied to the market by the end of 2024.

China’s eight top departments on June 2021 issued the mid- and long-term development plan for medical isotopes from 2021 to 2035, which stated to build an independent and stable medical isotope supply system.¬†In 2020, the Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant vowed to build China’s largest isotope production base by carrying out the development of related industries, according to CNNC.¬†During the production of carbon-14, Qinshan Nuclear Power Plant also launched the mass production preparation for other isotopes including the lutecium-117 and yttrium-90, further upgrading China’s supply capability of medical isotopes.

China steps up independent production of carbon-14 and other isotopes
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