Covidien signs radioisotope development deal for Mo-99

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Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Group (B &W), a subsidiary of McDermott International, has signed an agreement with Covidien to develop technology to manufacture molybdenum-99 (Mo-99).

Under the agreement, the Lynchburg, Va.-based B &W and Hazelwood, Mo.-based Mallinckrodt, a subsidiary of Covidien, will collaborate on the development of solution-based reactor technology for medical isotope production. The agreement combines Covidien's expertise in radiopharmaceutical production and global regulatory approvals with B &W's patented liquid phase nuclear technology.

The companies said that the reactor technology uses low enriched uranium, generating only about 1 percent of the radioactive waste compared to spent fuel and processing wastes generated by current reactor production of Mo-99, most of which uses highly enriched uranium.