JANESVILLE, Wis., June 19, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Phoenix, LLC, a Madison, WI nuclear technology company, and SHINE Medical Technologies, a Janesville, WI medical isotope production company, today announced completion of a 132-hour test of the high-flux Phoenix neutron generator that will drive SHINE’s medical isotope production system. This is a vital milestone in proving out the performance and reliability of Phoenix’s neutron generator technology and SHINE’s medical isotope production process.
SHINE Medical Technologies is dedicated to becoming the world leader in production of molybdenum-99, the most widely-used radioactive isotope in medical imaging. Currently, the only major producers of this isotope are government-owned nuclear research reactors, which create the isotopes by exposing highly-enriched or low-enriched uranium to neutron radiation.
SHINE will displace the use of reactors and weapons-grade uranium by using a safer, low-waste, low-enriched uranium process driven by 8 Phoenix neutron generators. The weekly SHINE production cycle will require these particle accelerator systems to operate for 132 consecutive hours, or 5.5 days, with better than 95% uptime. During the recent successful technology demonstration, Phoenix’s second-generation neutron generator prototype operated in SHINE’s Janesville, WI facility with an average neutron yield 10% higher than required and uptime higher than 99%. These results prove that Phoenix’s core technology is more than capable of reliably driving SHINE’s medical isotope production and serves as a major technology risk mitigation step for both companies.
“The entire Phoenix team has been working literally around the clock for months in preparation for this crucial demonstration,” said Ross Radel, CEO of Phoenix. “I could not be prouder of their dedication, and it resulted in performance and reliability results far in excess of the test requirements. No other non-reactor neutron sources on the market can even come close to matching this output with so little downtime during continuous operation. This performance demonstration reinforces Phoenix’s position as producers of the most powerful non-reactor commercial neutron generators in the world.”
“This delivery represents the culmination of over a decade of joint development effort between SHINE and Phoenix, moving from proof of concept, to proof of scale, and now to a unit that can produce millions of doses of medicine per year when paired with SHINE’s proprietary isotope production system,” says SHINE founder and CEO, Greg Piefer. “We proved, with an independent reviewer onsite, that the system can not only meet, but exceed our business requirements, moving SHINE one step closer to turning bombs into medicine.”
Over the next two years, SHINE will be receiving eight production neutron generators from Phoenix for installation in their production facility in Janesville. Once they commence operation in 2021, SHINE will be the only major producer of molybdenum-99 in the western hemisphere and will produce enough to satisfy 1/3 of the global demand for Mo-99. Increased availability of this isotope thanks to SHINE and Phoenix’s revolutionary technology is projected to improve the lives of over one billion people over the course of the next 50 years.
“Phoenix’s mission is to tackle humanity’s greatest challenges with nuclear technology,” Radel said. “We’re incredibly excited to see all the hard work over the years result in this outcome, and we’re proud to work with such an innovative customer with a shared dedication and sense of purpose.”