Draft Environmental Assessment for NorthStar

ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT FOR NORTHSTAR MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES LLC COMMERCIAL DOMESTIC PRODUCTION OF THE MEDICAL ISOTOPE MOLYBDENUM-99

Proposed Action: The Department of Energy (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) proposes to provide funding to NorthStar to accelerate the establishment of the commercial production of the medical isotope molybdenum-99 using accelerator technology.

Report Designation: Draft Environmental Assessment

Responsible Agency: NNSA

Affected Location: Beloit, Wisconsin

Abstract: Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) is a crucial radioisotope that is used in approximately 80 percent of all nuclear medicine diagnostic procedures and in roughly 50,000 diagnostic and therapeutic nuclear medicine procedures performed every day in the United States.  Its primary uses include diagnosing heart disease, treating cancer, and studying organ structure and function. The United States does not currently have a domestic production capability for Mo-99 and must import 100 percent of its supply from foreign producers, most of which use proliferation-sensitive highly enriched uranium (HEU) in their production processes. This is contrary to long-standing U.S. policy to minimize and eliminate the use of proliferation-sensitive HEU in civilian applications. 

To accelerate the establishment of reliable, commercial production of Mo-99 in the United States without the use of HEU, the NNSA proposes to provide funding to NorthStar Medical Technologies, LLC to accelerate the establishment of commercial production of Mo-99 in Beloit, Wisconsin.  Providing funding to NorthStar for the accelerator production of Mo-99 would expand NNSA’s support of domestic, non-HEU-based technologies to meet the U.S. commercial demand.

The analysis in the Draft Environmental Assessment (EA) for NorthStar Medical Technologies LLC Commercial Domestic Production of the Medical Isotope Molybdenum-99 presents the potential environmental impacts of the Proposed Action and the No Action Alternative, and will aid in determining whether a Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI) can be prepared or whether an Environmental Impact Statement is needed. 

Public Involvement: NNSA encourages public participation in the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review process.  NNSA invites comments on this Draft EA via e-mail, NorthStarMo-99EA@nnsa.doe.gov, or U.S. mail, marked attention to the NEPA Document Manager listed below by the close of the comment period.  The comment period ends on Monday, August 6.

Availability: The Draft EA is available for public review on NNSA’s website at http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/nepa, at DOE’s website at www.energy.gov/nepa, and at a public reading room at the Beloit Public Library, 605 Eclipse Boulevard, Beloit WI.  

Relevant Documents

Contact: For additional copies or more information about this EA please contact:

Jeffrey Chamberlin
NEPA Document Manager
Office of Global Threat Reduction
National Nuclear Security Administration
1000 Independence Ave., SW
Washington, DC 20585
Phone: 202-586-1474
Jeff Robbins
NEPA Compliance Officer
Albuquerque Complex
National Nuclear Security Administration
P.O. Box 5400
Albuquerque, NM 87185
Phone:  505-845-442