Westinghouse Advances Key Radioisotope Technology to Fight Cancer

Categories: Technology Leadership

Breakthrough approach enables large-scale production of Actinium-225 in operating commercial nuclear reactors

Cranberry Township, PA – June 23, 2023 – Westinghouse has developed and successfully demonstrated a novel approach to produce Actinium-225 (Ac-225) radioisotopes in commercial nuclear reactors. This breakthrough will enable large-scale production of Ac-225 for the first time globally to use in advanced cancer treatments.

Ac-225 cancer drugs are used in critical situations when other treatments prove ineffective. The existing method for producing Ac-225 is complex and the development of Ac-225 cancer treatments is limited by the availability of the radioisotope supply. The Actinium was produced in a special irradiation target designed by Westinghouse and irradiated in the Breazeale Reactor at Penn State University.

“Our new approach can significantly increase global radioisotope production capacity using Westinghouse technology in reactors around the world,” says Tarik Choho, President of Westinghouse Nuclear Fuel. “Westinghouse and our partners have a great opportunity to apply our nuclear knowledge and technology to improve access to life-saving cancer treatments, contribute to food and medical hygiene, and develop the radioisotopes needed to support space exploration as a by-product of clean energy production.”

Westinghouse has agreements with other suppliers to produce radioisotopes such as Cobalt-60 and Lutetium-177 in commercial reactors. Westinghouse is establishing agreements with nuclear utility partners for radioisotope production in their operating nuclear plants and is in active discussions with radiopharmaceutical companies and other radioisotope users for large-scale production of a wider range of radioisotopes.