Isotope Uses and Production: An International Survey
Radioactive and stable isotopes are used throughout the world in many sectors, including medicine, industry, agriculture, and research. In many applications, isotopes have no substitute and in most others they are more effective and cheaper than alternative techniques or processes. About 50 countries have significant isotope production capacities, and many others have smaller capacities. However, a comprehensive survey and analysis of the trends in isotope production and use, and of the isotope supply/demand balance, has never been made. Therefore, as study was initiated in 1996 by the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA), in cooperation with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), with the objective of collecting and compiling information on isotope production and uses; analyzing the status and trends in the sector; and identifying key issues of relevance for governments with regard to ensuring security of isotope supply for beneficial uses. The study was based on an inquiry carried out through a questionnaire sent to some 80 countries producing and/or using isotopes, supplemented by a review of data published in some countries on isotope production and uses, literature surveys and contacts with users and regulatory bodies in charge of issuing licenses to isotope users. The data and analyses resulting from the study, as presented below, are thought to be representative of the world situation, but are by no means exhaustive. NEA work in this field is continuing to complement the information already collected and to enhance the analysis of trends in the sector.
This abstract was presented at the 32nd Annual Midyear Meeting, "Creation and Future Legacy of Stockpile Stewardship Isotope Production, Applications, and Consumption", Isotope Production, Applications, and Safety Session, 1/24/1999 - 1/27/1999, held in Albuquerque, NM.