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Canadian Nuclear Laboratories launches institute to foster alpha particle research and commercialization


By Jesse Schwartz
Published: April 4th, 2018

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), the country’s central nuclear science and technology organization, is launching a virtual institute for alpha particle research and innovation.

The Avenir institute will enable worldwide research and collaboration, expand scientific knowledge of alpha particles and incubate new technologies and products arising from research.

“We are thrilled to announce the launch of Avenir, an international institute that will act as a springboard for research and commercial work using alpha emitting radionuclides,” says Robert Holmes, chief scientist at CNL and executive director of Avenir. “CNL has pursued research using alpha particles for decades. With the introduction of Avenir, we hope to bring together organizations with complementary capabilities to fully explore the potential of alpha particles for academic, industrial and commercial applications.”

Among other projects, CNL is researching the health impacts of exposure to alpha particles, how to harness heat from alpha decay to power batteries for space travel, and what manufacturing processes could produce alpha-emitting isotopes for industrial applications.

“CNL also has a number of active research programs delivering tangible results in multiple industries, from medical therapy and environmental remediation to energy production and industrial work,” says Mark Lesinski, president and CEO of CNL. “Avenir will offer organizations the opportunity to participate in this exciting work and to further explore other areas of research.”

CNL is also studying the use of high-energy alpha emitters for medical therapy, also known as targeted alpha therapy, which has the potential to treat cancer and other diseases while limiting the overall radiation dose a patient may receive and encouraging faster recovery times.

“Targeted alpha therapy is one of the most promising areas of nuclear medicine and could represent a leap forward in radiation therapy,” says Kathy MacCarthy, vice president of research and development at CNL. “It’s only one of many applications we plan to pursue using alpha particles. With the launch of Avenir, CNL will seek to grow its research programs so we can fully harness the potential of these radionuclides.”

Source: Markets Insider

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