University of Missouri Research Reactor continues to bolster domestic supply chain of critical radioisotopes

New production of iron and manganese radioisotopes creates domestic supply for researchers and Department of Energy.

Murr 10-megawatt core

July 13, 2023
Contact: Uriah Orland, 573-882-6212,

Continuing as an essential leader in domestic isotope production, the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR) began production of iron-59 (Fe-59) and manganese-54 (Mn-54) radioisotopes in support of the Department of Energy’s Isotope Program, meant to bolster under-produced or non-available isotopes for researchers in the United States.

As a university partner in the DOE IP University Isotope Network since 2017, MURR is providing quarterly availability of Fe-59, and Mn-54 available every 14 weeks. These two radioisotopes are primarily used in biomedical research including in vitro and in vivo analyses of cell and systemic metabolism.

“These new isotopes are an example of MURR’s importance in providing valuable resources to advance research across the country,” said Mun Choi, president of the University of Missouri. “Our ability to produce radioisotopes in central Missouri is vital to our domestic supply chain.”

Prior to production at MURR, the nation had to source Mn-54 radioisotopes from Russia. 

“Our proven record of success and reliability is critical to ensuring the United States has the availability of radioisotopes for research and medical uses,” said Matt Sanford, executive director of MURR. “Together, with the Department of Energy Isotope Program, we are providing researchers with the materials they need to pursue scientific discoveries.”

About MURR
The University of Missouri Research Reactor’s (MURR) innovative design and operating cycle — operating year-round, 24 hours a day, 6.5 days a week, 52 weeks a year — enables MURR to produce the active pharmaceutical ingredients in multiple FDA-approved drugs. More than 1.6 million patients a year are diagnosed or treated using the radioisotopes that MURR produces. Because of MURR’s unique capabilities, it is a vital resource for patients, health care providers, researchers and industrial partners in Missouri and across the globe.

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