UK funds research to recycle nuclear waste for medical use

The government is backing ten research projects with £4 million in funding to enhance the supply of critical radioactive materials for medical procedures, including cancer treatment

The UK Government is supporting ten pioneering research projects with a combined fund of £4 million, aimed at enhancing the availability of critical radioactive materials used in the treatment of cancer and other medical procedures.

These initiatives are part of the Medical Radionuclide Innovation Programme (MRIP), which seeks to strengthen the supply and production of medical radionuclides in the UK.

Annually, approximately 700,000 medical procedures, including treatments for specific types of cancer, rely on these radioactive components.

The National Nuclear Laboratory will investigate the recovery of spent material from the nuclear power sector to produce Yttrium-90, a beta emitter crucial in radiation therapy.

Nuclear Minister Andrew Bowie said: “Radionuclides play a vital role in diagnosing major conditions such as heart and lung disease and treating cancer, and this fund is the first step in improving our long-term security of supply.

“With around 700,000 nuclear medicine procedures performed every year in the UK, innovation in the development of radionuclides is critical to ensure we can deliver for patients and NHS workers that depend on this technology.

“Reusing spent nuclear waste from the power industry could be one of the answers.”

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