Press release //First material transport from Fleurus to Mol
September 5th 2019, Fleurus and Mol (Belgium) – This September 4th, the first transport of irradiated material has been carried out from Fleurus to Mol. This transport is part of the public-public partnership between the Institut National des Radioéléments (IRE) and the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCKCEN) that was signed in December 2018.
In December 2018, the Institut National des Radioéléments (IRE) and the Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCKCEN) announced the signature of a Public-public partnership called RECUMO, (Recovery of valuable Uranium residues of 99Mo based radio-pharma in Belgium), which will bring a structural solution to the management of residues resulting from the production of medical radioisotopes and stored on the IRE’s site in Fleurus.
On September 4th, this partnership came true with the first transport of irradiated material from Fleurus to Mol. The transport took place under terms agreed upon with the authorities and in strict compliance with the national and international nuclear safety and security standards.
IRE has started to evacuate irradiated materials from its site. These materials will thus be processed and purified at SCK•CEN after obtaining the necessary licences. Additional transports will be organised and will allow for residues stored on the Fleurus site to be evacuated progressively.
Eric van Walle, Director-General at SCKCEN: “Thanks to our excellent relationship with IRE and our will to work jointly with them, our partnership is being implemented quickly and the first transport highlights the commitment of both institutes and the wonderful coordination between the teams and the authorities.”
The RECUMO project strengthens Belgium’s position as the inevitable player in the production and supply of radioisotopes for nuclear medicine. Erich Kollegger, CEO of IRE: “These radioisotopes are crucial for diagnosis as well as for treatment of several diseases, mainly cancer. They play a key role in the fight against cancer, which affects more than 65,000 patients every year in Belgium. This figure will only increase in the future as 80,000 instances are predicted in 2025.”
The RECUMO project is being implemented in close collaboration with the Directorate-General for Energy of the Federal Public Service Economy, SMEs, Middle Classes and Energy and under the supervision of Belgium’s Federal Agency for Nuclear Control (FANC).
About IRE and IRE ELiT
IRE, Institut National des Radioéléments, is a public interest foundation whose main activity is to produce radioisotopes for diagnosis and therapy in nuclear medicine. IRE is the world’s leader in Molybdenum-99 production, the ‘parent’ isotope of metastable Technetium-99, and the most used isotope in nuclear medicine for many examinations (heart, bones, lungs, thyroid gland, brains, kidneys, etc.).
Besides its production activities, IRE contributes to protecting and monitoring the environment thanks to its many services: measurement of radioactivity in various samples, radiological characterisation of contaminated waste and elements, technical consultancy and support in the radiological and nuclear fields.
IRE ELiT is the innovation subsidiary of IRE which was created in 2010 in order to develop radiopharmaceuticals used in imaging and treatment of some cancers as well as for palliative care. In 2017, IRE ELiT allocated 16.2% of its turnover to R&D. This percentage is steadily growing ever since the company was created. IRE and IRE ELiT employ 218 people at the moment. More info on www.ire.eu
65 years of experience in nuclear science and technology
The Belgian Nuclear Research Centre (SCK•CEN) is one of Belgium’s largest research centres. It has more than 800 employees who devote themselves every day to developing peaceful applications of nuclear energy. The research activities of SCK•CEN relate to three main topics: the safety of nuclear facilities, sustainable management of radioactive waste and protecting the population and the environment against ionising radiation. SCK•CEN is recognised worldwide and shares its knowledge through numerous publications and training courses in order to keep up this exceptional pool of talent.
More info: www.sckcen.be
IRE – Bérénice Pignol +32 471 70 62 44 – firstname.lastname@example.org
SCK•CEN – Wendy De Groote +32 14 33 21 49 - email@example.com
Download the press release: PPP RECUMO 02092019 EN vf (002)