190620_SHINE

In an October 2018 file photo, a contractor works on high-voltage wiring in a bunker SHINE Medical Technologies is using to house its nuclear particle accelerator at its test facility on Janesville’s south side.

JANESVILLE

It works. And then some.

That’s the simplest way to describe the conclusion of tests on the nuclear particle accelerator technology SHINE Medical Technologies says will drive its future molybdenum 99 production facility in Janesville.

SHINE announced Wednesday a five-day test showed a neutron-generating particle accelerator of the type it would use to make moly-99 not only meets but exceeds the output the company would need to launch full-scale moly-99 production planned in Janesville.

In a release, SHINE wrote that a neutron particle accelerator developed and built by sister company Phoenix showed it can deliver “110 percent” of the required neutron output required for SHINE to produce moly-99 on a commercial scale.

The test results, which SHINE said were confirmed by a third party, validate a decade-long partnership between SHINE and Phoenix.

SHINE CEO Greg Piefer, who had a major hand in developing the particle accelerator technology, said the recent testing shows the technology has moved from “proof of concept, to proof of scale, and now to a unit that can produce millions of doses of medicine per year,” according to the release.

SHINE assembled the accelerator and its related equipment at a test facility it completed in Janesville last year.

SHINE plans to pair eight of Phoenix’s accelerators with its own radioisotope production system at a facility the company is building on Janesville’s south side.

The Janesville production plant could be operating on a commercial scale by 2022, pending federal approval of an operating license, SHINE has said.

“We proved, with an independent reviewer onsite, that the system can not only meet but exceed our business requirements, moving SHINE one step closer to turning (material) used in (nuclear) bombs into medicine,” Piefer said in a prepared statement.

Under SHINE’s plans, the company would use weapons-grade, low-enriched uranium to produce moly-99 for specialty pharmacies around the globe. Moly-99 is used to light up body tissue in heart and bone scans and cancer tests, but its production for years has been limited mainly to aging nuclear reactors, most of which are in Europe.

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