Secretary Granholm lays the groundwork for the Isotope Research Center to advance life-saving medical applications and strengthen America as a global scientific leader


Newswise — WASHINGTON, DC — The US Department of Energy (DOE), in coordination with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, today broke ground on the Stable Isotope Production and Research Center (SIPRC), which will expand the country’s ability to enrich stable isotopes for medical, industrial and research applications . The DOE also announced $75 million to support SIPRC with funds from President Biden’s Inflation Mitigation Act, which provided $1.55 billion to the Office of Science in fiscal 2022 to accelerate national laboratory infrastructure projects. This new state-of-the-art facility will help achieve the Biden-Harris administration’s goals of building domestic supply chains critical to America’s economy, energy and national security, while solidifying our global leadership in science and innovation.

“Isotopes are so important for diagnosing and treating diseases like cancer and identifying nuclear threats,” he said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “Supported by the President’s Inflation Reduction Act, the world-class Stable Isotope Production and Research Center will help establish a reliable domestic supply of isotopes critical to the health and safety of Americans in every corner of the nation.”

Isotopes are essential to many sectors of our economy – from medical applications to treat cancer and heart disease to clean and renewable energy technologies, from national security and space exploration to fundamental climate research and quantum computing. However, at a time when both domestic and global demand is growing significantly, the US relies on unstable foreign supply chains for many of these crucial elements.

To meet current and anticipated demand for isotopes and fill gaps in our supply chains, SIPRC will provide the DOE with multiple production systems capable of enriching a wide range of stable isotopes. Importantly, the facility has room to add additional systems and expand building space in the future as demand increases – enhancing America’s global competitiveness and providing the nation with large-scale manufacturing capabilities to become a world leader in the field.

SIPRC will be a new facility within the DOE’s isotope program that will produce and sell isotopes that are scarce or simply unavailable elsewhere. Research conducted at SIPRC supports the program’s innovative work to develop advanced manufacturing techniques and novel isotope separations to build a safe and reliable domestic supply chain, enable emerging technologies, and ensure America is at the global forefront of isotope development and production.

To learn more about the DOE’s isotope program, click here.


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