National Nuclear Science Week Day 3: NNSA Showcases Nuclear Medicine

Press Release
Jan 26, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is committed to promoting excellence in nuclear science and attracting the next generation of nuclear security experts to the field. As part of that effort, NNSA is celebrating National Nuclear Science Week with five days of features on the NNSA website that showcase the innovations and opportunities in nuclear science.

On day three of Nuclear Science Week, NNSA is highlighting the ways NNSA and the sites across the national security enterprise are supporting efforts to promote nuclear medicine. From developing methods of producing medical isotopes that do not require the use of highly enriched uranium to developing better cancer screening tools, the technologies developed by NNSA are expanding the frontiers of science and medicine. Today’s feature includes a video from Y-12 National Security Complex about how Y-12 pioneered nuclear medicine (see first video below). Another video features a compact, high-resolution gamma camera currently used for prostate cancer detection but with applications for other cancer diagnostics (see second video below).

“The investments NNSA makes in nuclear security have broader benefits that impact the country,” said NNSA’s Chief Scientist Dimitri Kusnezov. “The cutting edge research and development being done by the men and women across our national security enterprise is pushing the frontiers of science and discovery, fostering innovation, and bringing life saving technologies to market.”

NNSA has leveraged more than sixty years of nuclear science expertise to tackle some of the most pressing national security challenges. NNSA’s investment in nuclear security provides the tools to tack a broad range of other challenges. For example, the supercomputers developed by NNSA and the national laboratories to support our stockpile stewardship program have made significant strides in the fight to find answers to the challenges posed by cancer, HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Research and development grants supported by our nonproliferation program have led to the development of an award winning cancer screening devices.

For more information on the ways NNSA is contributing to nuclear medicine, see today’s Nuclear Science Week feature at

To see Day Two's Nuclear Science Week press release, click here.

To see Day One's Nuclear Science Week press release, click here.

Video from Y-12 National Security Complex about how Y-12 pioneered nuclear medicine:

Video featuring a high-resolution gamma camera currently used for prostate cancer detection:


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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation’s national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.