OREANDA-NEWS. The European Commission has launched a new call for tender for a study on the medical, industrial and research uses of nuclear and radiation technology.

The aim of this study will be to provide the Commission with up-to-date information on the non-power uses of nuclear and radiation technology in the EU. This study will then lay the foundations for a Commission proposal on a Strategic Agenda for Medical, Industrial and Research Applications of nuclear and radiation technology (SAMIRA) – set to be released in 2018.

The study should include a particular focus on radioisotopes for medical uses.

Nuclear and radiation technology has long been used in medicine for the diagnosis and treatment of some of the most common life-threatening diseases.  Moreover, the number of medical radiological procedures in Europe runs into the hundreds of millions per year and the medical sector accounts for more than 90% of man-made exposure to radiation in the EU.

Radioisotopes are used in medical imaging to detect and track diseases. In the EU, about 40 research reactors are in operation, and some of them play a vital role in the supply of radioisotopes for medicine. But the European research reactor fleet is more than 40 years old and prone to unplanned outages.

The situation is especially worrying in the production of the most widely used medical isotope, Molibdenum-99 / Technecium-99m. Investment is needed in order to avoid shortages of this isotope from 2025-2030.