DOE says new partnership will save $90 million and accelerate cancer research

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OAK RIDGE, Tenn. (WATE) – The U.S. Department of Energy says a new public-private partnership announced in Oak Ridge on Friday will save $90 million taxpayer dollars and advance the next generation of cancer research.

DOE, Isotek Systems and TerraPower announced a partnership that would provide researchers with rare isotopes for cancer research and treatment while removing highly-enriched nuclear material from Oak Ridge National Laboratory at a reduced cost to the federal government.

Isotek is the DOE contractor tasked with eliminating the inventory of uranium-233 currently stored at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Through the agreement, Isotek personnel are extracting thorium from the uranium-233 inventory that TerraPower will use to support cancer treatment research through the medical application of radioisotope technologies.

Officials say the partnership gives TerraPower the capacity to produce 100 times more cancer treatment doses per year than the 4,000 currently available worldwide.

The partnership will save $90 million taxpayer dollars, according to a Department of Energy release.

Istotek is using the funds it receives from the sale of these rare materials to accelerate the high-priority project of removing highly-enriched nuclear material from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The announcement will be attended by U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., top DOE officials and corporate leaders.

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