The new Radioisotope Production Facility would produce medical radioisotopes from its own Research Reactor and supply them to Health Service providers across the UK and internationally.
Radioisotopes, also known as radioactive isotopes, are used extensively in health, industrial and research applications. In nuclear medicine, radioisotopes are selected for their chemical and radioactive properties for diagnostic and therapeutic applications. In both cases, the radioisotope is linked to a chemical compound that has the capacity to bind with a specific target (cancerous cells, organs, etc.). The particle or photon emitted during the radioactive decay is used for locating cancer cells (imaging) or directly destroying them (therapy). Most radioisotopes used in nuclear medicine are produced through irradiation in research reactors.
There is an increasing worldwide demand for medical radioisotopes, to meet the cancer diagnostic and therapeutic treatment needs of health service providers, across the UK and internationally. The recent major breakthroughs in nuclear medicine are offering new opportunities for cancer treatment. ARTHUR will significantly enhance the UK’s ability to meet this increasing demand.
The feasibility report is the first step in realising the Welsh Government’s ambition to design, build and operate a facility that will support the UK’s strategy for advanced nuclear medicine.
NUVIA UK has assembled a core team of technical experts that brings together UK and international expertise in the design, planning, licencing, and environmental aspects of research reactors and other nuclear facilities. NUVIA’s team includes NucAdvisor (a sister NUVIA company, part of VINCI), who are specialists in research reactor technology and medical radioisotopes supply, and Hydrock who bring a track record of using innovative and sustainable approaches in nuclear, energy and healthcare markets. The study will explore what is required to achieve a safe, reliable, and cost-effective solution that will meet the growing demands for nuclear medicine in the UK.
NUVIA UK is thrilled to have been awarded this prestigious contract working with the Welsh Government to realise these advances for the good of the whole of the UK.
The creation of a UK radioisotope production facility will:
- enable the delivery of the NHS Long-term Plan to significantly increase the number of diagnostic scans, with correspondingly better patient outcomes
- support the levelling up agenda by creating STEM jobs in deprived areas within the UK
- reposition the UK’s nuclear medicine capability