Russia increased isotope export in 2023 by 15%; exports to China, India helped growth

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Isotope JSC, a subsidiary of the Russian state atomic energy corporation Rosatom, increased its annual export supplies of isotope in 2023 by 15 percent, according to a company statement. 

This growth in exports was achieved through contracts with customers in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), which is an association of former republics of the Soviet Union, the statement said.  

Isotopes are generated in cyclotrons, generators or nuclear reactors. Based on various isotopes, radiopharmaceuticals are produced for use in nuclear medicine in areas such as molecular imaging, radionuclide therapy and diagnostics. 

The increase in isotope exports was mainly the result of agreements with enterprises in China and India, enabling increase of revenue in these countries by one-and-a-half times and three-fold, respectively. 

“In particular, agreements with enterprises in China and India allowed to increase the revenue in these countries by one-and-a-half times and three times, respectively,” the statement said.  

“At the same time, the geography of the isotope product supplies expanded as well,” it added.  

After a break of many years, a batch of Russian sources based on cobalt-60 was delivered to radiation centres in the Middle East. In addition, uninterrupted deliveries were ensured of the Macrotech technetium-99 generator to Belarus and the Russian-made gallium-68 generator to Kazakhstan.  

Cooperation with Latin American countries was also expanded. In 2023, a five-year contract was concluded with Brazil for the supply of medical products, while from January 2024, clinics in Cuba began to receive the first regular deliveries of molybdenum-99 and iodine-131. 

“Development of cooperation with new partners and commencement of vital isotope supplies to these regions will enhance the availability of specialized medical care and help to save thousands upon thousands of lives,” Isotope Director General, Maxim Kushnarev, said in a statement.  

Rosatom holds 30 percent of the global market share in the cobalt-60 isotope and supplies isotope products to more than 50 countries in the world, enabling diagnosis and treatment of about 2.5 million people every year.