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  • Rosenergoatom is ready to begin production of one of the most popular isotopes in the world – lutetium-177

    Published on September 18, 2023

     Moscow – The Leningrad Nuclear Power Plant, a branch of Rosenergoatom, received official permission from Rostechnadzor to produce a new isotope – lutetium-177, which demonstrates high efficiency in the diagnosis and targeted therapy of a number of oncological diseases. Its production became possible at once at two power units of the nuclear power plant.

    Today, lutetium-177 radiopharmaceuticals are used to effectively treat a variety of diseases, such as tumors that can appear in the stomach, rectum, pancreas, small and large intestine, adrenal glands and thyroid gland. They are also increasingly used in the treatment of tumors of the meninges – meningiomas and prostate cancer. Treatment with lutetium-177 also works well for cases where the disease is in an advanced stage, there are metastases, in particular, with cancer that is resistant to hormonal drugs and chemotherapy, and also if the tumor cannot be removed surgically.

    Despite external restrictions, the domestic economy is increasing its export potential, supplying goods, services and raw materials around the world. Rosenergoatom (Electric Energy Division of the State Corporation Rosatom) is expanding its line of production of radioactive isotopes at nuclear power plants.

    At the moment, Rosenergoatom has the ability to rhythmically produce at the power reactors of the Leningrad NPP: molybdenum-99 (activation), iodine-125, iodine-131, samarium-153, used in the diagnosis and treatment of various diseases.

    At the request of Russian and foreign manufacturers of radiopharmaceuticals, Rosenergoatom is expanding the range of isotopes produced in power reactors.

    At power units No. 3 and 4 of the Leningrad NPP, the necessary technical and organizational measures were taken to commission four additional irradiation channels. With the receipt of licenses, new production facilities will allow Rosenergoatom to produce the lutetium-177 isotope, unique in its properties, which is necessary to save the lives of cancer patients.

    “In January 2023, we submitted to Rostechnadzor all the necessary supporting documentation on the production of lutetium-177 to amend the licenses for the operation of a nuclear installation and the handling of radioactive substances during production, transportation and storage at power units No. 3 and 4 of the Leningrad NPP. High-quality prepared materials, as well as many years of practical experience in the safe production of isotopes at the Leningrad NPP, made it possible to obtain a decision from RTN on including the production of lutetium-177 into the terms of the current licenses within the regulatory time frame,” noted Arkady Sokolovsky, Deputy Chief Engineer of the Leningrad NPP.

    Let us recall that at present Rosenergoatom is one of the key producers of medical radioisotopes for the Russian market. In addition, the generating company produces about 30% of the world’s sterilization cobalt-60 consumption from nuclear power reactors.

    Production of the first pilot batches of lutetium-177 is planned until the end of 2023. As part of the current Rosatom project, following the Leningrad NPP, the experience of producing isotopes for medical purposes is planned to be applied at the Kursk and Smolensk nuclear power plants.

    The development of radiation technologies today is one of Rosatom’s strategic goals. The market for the development of such technologies in the future is assessed by business experts as comparable to the nuclear energy market: this includes modern diagnostics in medicine, transport security systems, new means of water and air purification, microelectronics, light industry, metallurgy, and many other areas.


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