General Lab Information

Radioisotopes for nuclear medicine and industry

The Brookhaven National Laboratory Isotope Research and Production Department prepares certain commercially unavailable radioisotopes for distribution to the nuclear medicine community and industry and performs research to develop new radioisotopes for nuclear medicine investigators. The program also performs irradiations for non-isotope applications, sells by-products, and explores opportunities for new products and radioisotope applications.

The Brookhaven Linac Isotope Producer (BLIP) consists of a beam line and target area for isotope production that uses protons up to 200 MeV energy and 165 µA intensity from Brookhaven's Linac. Since the Linac primarily serves as an injector to higher energy synchrotrons, BLIP generally operates parasitically with the Brookhaven nuclear physics program although some independent running of BLIP takes place to extend operations when necessary.

photo of linear accelerator
photo of target preparation

At left, the linear accelerator (linac) that supplies beam to BLIP targets. At right, a technician prepares targets for irradition.

Radioisotope Production

The Brookhaven Isotope Program is capable of producing a variety radioisotopes. See the link to the full catalog below. Some isotopes not scheduled for production at Brookhaven Lab may be available from other Department of Energy laboratories. The research offerings are subject to a DOE review process and may not be available every year. Rental of hot cell space as well as irradiations not requiring chemical separation are also possible. Lengthy irradiations for physics experiments can be accommodated if compatible with our ongoing radioisotope production.

Available Isotopes / Ordering

α-Emitter Updates

Actinium-225 - The DOE IP has historically used a thorium-229 cow to provide actinium-225 and its bismuth-213 daughter. This product is distributed weekly to various groups for R&D and early-stage clinical trials. However, the limited supplies of this material are insufficient to support multiple advanced-stage clinical trials. The Ac-225 Tri-Lab Effort between BNL, LANL, and ORNL has made substantial progress toward increasing production capacity over 100-fold via accelerator-based production. New production and processing methods as well as planned facility upgrades will enable further applications of Ac-225 and Bi-213 to a broader scope of researchers and patient populations. A Drug Master File (DMF) was recently filed on the accelerator-produced Ac-225 product, and a DMF is scheduled to be completed in FY 2021 for the Th-229 cow product. Accelerator-produced Ac-225 samples have been evaluated by the community in dosimetry and toxicology studies, some of which were recently presented and discussed in a virtual forum at the annual Ac-225 User Group meeting. Accelerator-produced Ac-225 is routinely available on an approximately 6-week basis.

Newly Available Isotopes

Copper-67—The capability to produce Cu-67 has been developed at both Argonne National Laboratory (ANL) and BNL. ANL routinely produces 2 Ci batches of high-specific activity (400 Ci/mg at end of batch) material by phototransmutation using an electron linac. BNL provides lower specific activity material (20 Ci/mg) using a proton linac.

Isotopes Under Development

Selenium-72 —generator (PET imaging agent)—under development

Other Routinely Available Medically Relevant Isotopes

Yttrium-86 —PET imaging agent and theranostic pair to Y-90—available. BNL is working on a new batch of Y-86.

For more information on the availability of isotopes, quotes and orders, please contact the National Isotope Development Center (NIDC) at

Quotes can be obtained, and orders are placed through the National Isotope Development Center.

For technical information on BNL produced isotopes, please contact:
Dr. Cathy Sue Cutler, Isotope Program Director
(631) 344-3873 |

For technical information on isotope products:

Contact the National Isotope Development Center

The National Isotope Development Center (NIDC) is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Isotope Program. It serves as an interface with the user community and manages the coordination of isotope production across the program facilities at Argonne, Brookhaven, Idaho, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratories. These facilities produce stable and radioactive isotopes in short supply using reactors, accelerators, and other methods.

Mission and Funding

The Brookhaven National Laboratory Isotope Research and Production Department receives funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Isotope R&D and Production Program (DOE Isotope Program), managed by the Office of Science, as part of a suite of national laboratories and universities focused on isotope R&D and production. The mission of the DOE Isotope Program is to produce and distribute stable and radioactive isotopes for research and applications that are in short supply and critical to the prosperity and security of the Nation. The DOE Isotope Program supports isotope production, R&D on isotope production techniques, workforce development, and reduction of U.S. dependency on foreign supply chains. Those interested in purchasing stable or radioactive isotopes from the DOE Isotope Program should contact the National Isotope Development Center.