SA award for uranium cancer treatment

2010-10-27 22:10

Johannesburg - South Africa's Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa) was on Wednesday awarded $25m for developing technology to fight diseases like cancer using low-enriched uranium.

Low-enriched uranium is significantly less hazardous to the human body than the currently used highly enriched uranium, present in treatments like radiation.

The award comes at a time when the development of low-enriched uranium was in decline, causing an international supply crisis and unnecessary suffering for patients.

The US department of energy commended Necsa for producing the first commercially successful "medical isotope" using low enriched uranium. A medical isotope is a very small quantity of radioactive substance used in the imaging and treatment of disease.

Necsa's CEO Rob Adam said that this award was the culmination of many years of painstaking research and development.

The technology developed by Necsa enables these isotopes to be delivered directly to the site of diseased cells, which is different from external beam radiation treatment.

“This award is part of (the US's) commitment to developing a sustainable means of producing (medical isotopes) as part of a global supply network that does not use highly enriched uranium," the US department said.

Necsa said that further research would be conducted to use low enriched uranium in fuels and other commercial applications.

  • anonymous - 2010-10-28 13:23

    Suggest your reporter finds out more about "low enriched uranium" - it's actually medical isotopes being produced here. Low level radiation, on the other hand, is a well known killer of people, especially in low doses over years and no-one is any the wiser as to what made them deathly ill.

  • @anonymous - 2010-10-29 09:45

    Well said...It is extremely funny how an investigative reporter does not not know these facts yet they know what a movie star saw in his/her stool this morning.

    Here is another shocker dearest people of the planet... Uranium is not radioactive in its natural state. Bismuth is the daughter product that you pick up on your gamma counter, combined with Thorium and Potassium.

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