The companies IBA and SCK CEN are teaming up to build a new plant to produce actinium-225, Engineeringnet reports.

Actinium-225 (Ac-225) is a radioactive isotope, an alpha-emitter to be precise. In the Netherlands, Erik de Blois of Erasmus MC is pioneering the use of the isotope in radioactive medicine. De Blois told us in our interview with him: ‘[Actinium-225] is still used almost nowhere, there are hardly any suppliers and there are no GMP protocols for production yet.’ He therefore had to set up almost everything himself.

In the meantime, steps have been taken towards an actinium plant in Belgium. Ion Beam Applications (IBA) and the nuclear research centre SCK CEN concluded a partnership last year to achieve production of the isotope. After doing a lot of R&D research in the past year, they formed a joint venture last week: Pantera. The technical feasibility studies are almost finished; the next step will be to design and build the plant, after which production should start in 2027.