United States to continue export of HEU for medical isotope production

A decision of the U.S. Department of Energy will allow the United States to continue export of HEU for the purposes of medical isotope production. The American Medical Isotopes Production Act of 2012 (AMIPA) contained a provision that would end such export in January 2020, seven years after the law entered into force. However, that provision was conditioned on a certification regarding the sufficiency of Mo-99 supply in the United States. According to the DoE,

there is an insufficient global supply of molybdenum-99 produced without the use of highly enriched uranium available to satisfy the domestic U.S. market and that the export of U.S.-origin highly enriched uranium for the purposes of medical isotope production is the most effective temporary means to increase the supply of molybdenum-99 to the domestic U.S. market. This certification shall be effective on January 2, 2020, for a period of no more than two years from the effective date.

The United States has been sending about 4-5 kg of HEU to Europe annually to support medical isotope production there (see historical export data). The most recent export license was requested in August 2019 (and amended in September 2019).