VietNamNet Bridge – The Da Lat nuclear reactor has been providing different
radioactive substances to 23 nuclear medicine faculties nationwide, once every
two weeks, serving the diagnosis and treatment of 300,000 patients every year.
According to the Da Lat Institute for Nuclear Research, since the day it resumed
the operation in March 1984, it has been making radioactive isotopes and tracers
used to diagnose and treat diseases, including cancer. This is one of the main
designed functions of the nuclear reactor.
The pharmaceutical substances made at the Da Lat nuclear reactor are the
radioactive substances with short or medium half-time.
Since 1997, IAEA, the International Atomic Energy Agency, has been giving
necessary support to the nuclear reactor, providing some equipment to make
radioactive isotopes used in healthcare, such as the I-131 isotope production
line, Tc-99m and P-32 production line.
The equipment was used effectively by the center for radioactive isotope
research and preparations, which later have been replaced by more advanced
The center now can make 30 different products, mostly used in treating cancer at
the nuclear medicine faculties at the big hospitals throughout the country.
These include the Cancer Hospital, the France – Vietnam Hospital, the Cho Ray
hospital in HCM City, and the Bach Mai, Hospital, Military Hospital No. 108,
Military Hospital No. 103, K Hospital in Hanoi.
Besides, the big hospitals in Hue City, Da Nang, Quy Nhon and Khanh Hoa have
also been provided with the products from the Da Lat nuclear reactor.
Of the products, there are the radioactive substances such as I-131 solution and
capsules used for diagnosis and treatment of thyroid diseases, P-32 for the
treatment of skin diseases, Tc-99m and nearly 20in-vivo tracer kits for diagnose
of pathological functions, the solution of P-32, Sm-153 for the treatment of
pains caused by metastatic cancer, and some other isotopes made to orders.
A report showed that the Da Lat Institute for Nuclear Research has been
providing different radioactive substances to 23 nuclear medicine faculties
nationwide, once every two weeks, serving the diagnosis and treatment of 300,000
patients every year.
All the products of the Da Lat Institute for Nuclear Research have been made
under the control of IAEA to ensure the radioactivity safety. They can meet all
the standards set by the World Health Organization WHO, but they have the
production costs much lower than that of the import products. Some products made
in Da Lat have the production costs just equal to 1/10 of the imports.
However, due to the limited capacity of the Da Lat nuclear reactor, the volume
of radioactive substance put out here just can satisfy 60 percent of the
domestic demand, while the other 40 percent need to be imported., though it has
been running at the full capacity of 500kwt.
Therefore, besides the operational Da Lat reactor, the State now plans to
develop a new project on building up a new reactor with the capacity of 15mwt.
In addition to the task of expanding the study of physics and neutron
techniques, applications of radioactive isotopes and nuclear techniques in
economic sectors other techniques, this new reactor will produce more isotopes,
radioactive substance to meet the needs of the growing medical examination and
treatment in the country.