17 February 2023
On Wednesday the 15th of February Ernst Kuipers, Minister of Health, Wellbeing and Sports in the Netherlands, visited Urenco Stable Isotopes in Almelo.
Urenco produces raw materials (isotopes) for medical diagnoses and treatments. This is the first step in a chain to treat millions of patients a year with nuclear medicine. It is unique that the Netherlands facilitates all steps in the production chain of nuclear medicines. A number of key products go to Petten to be turned into nuclear medicines. Thanks to the arrival of the Pallas reactor, the new medical isotop reactor, this route will remain available in the future. Other isotopes from Urenco go to cyclotrons in hospitals.
Arjan Bos heads the department that produces the medical isotopes and explained the various applications to the minister. For instance, the isotope Iridium is the raw material for brachytherapy: radioactive seeds that treat tumours very locally: "The minister immediately recognised this application and said he had worked with it during his time at the Erasmus Medical Centre. Another application, for example, is Xenon for making razor-sharp mri scans of lungs." "We see tremendous growth in the demand for our isotopes," Bos said. "There are more and more applications and treatments coming up. This means for us that we continue to innovate and expand in capacity. In doing so, it is important that we maintain a robust supply chain that can function independently."
Please accept cookies to see this video. More information can be found here
Urenco is an international supplier of enrichment services and fuel cycle products with sustainability at the core of its business. Operating in a pivotal area of the nuclear fuel supply chain for 50 years, Urenco facilitates zero carbon electricity generation for consumers around the world.
With its head office near London, UK, Urenco’s global presence ensures diversity and security of supply for customers through enrichment facilities in Germany, the Netherlands, the UK and the USA. Using centrifuge technology designed and developed by Urenco, and through the expertise of our people, the Urenco Group provides safe, cost effective and reliable services; operating within a framework of high environmental, social and governance standards, complementing international safeguards.
Urenco is committed to continued investment in the responsible management of nuclear materials; innovation activities with clear sustainability benefits, such as nuclear medicine, industrial efficiency and research; and nurturing the next generation of scientists and engineers.