Providing the Nation with Critical Isotopes

The National Isotope Development Center

Laboratory Research

The National Isotope Development Center (NIDC) is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Isotope Program (DOE IP), managed by the Office of Science for Nuclear Physics. It serves as an interface with the user community and manages the coordination of isotope production across the program facilities at Argonne, Brookhaven, Idaho, Los Alamos, Oak Ridge, and Pacific Northwest National Laboratories. These facilities produce stable and radioactive isotopes in short supply using reactors, accelerators, and other methods.

The DOE IP’s mission, directly supported by the NIDC, is to:

  • Produce and/or distribute radioactive and enriched stable isotopes that are in short supply, including valuable by-products and surplus materials, and perform related isotope services.
  • Maintain the infrastructure required to produce and supply isotope products and to perform related services.
  • Conduct R&D on new and improved isotope production and processing techniques that can make available new isotopes for research and applications.
  • Mitigate U.S. dependence on foreign supplies of isotopes.

For information regarding the long-term strategy and operations of the NIDC and DOE IP, see the NSAC 2015 Isotopes Subcommittee Report.



The U.S. Department of Energy Isotope Program

DOE video

The DOE Isotope Program supports the production and the development of production techniques of radioactive and stable isotopes that are in short supply for research and applications. Isotopes are high-priority commodities of strategic importance for the nation and are essential for energy, medical, and national security applications and for basic research; a goal of the program is to make critical isotopes more readily available to meet domestic U.S. needs. 

The program also coordinates and supports isotope production at numerous universities, national laboratories, and commercial accelerator and reactor facilities throughout the nation to promote a reliable supply of domestic isotopes. The NIDC coordinates isotope production across these facilities and manages the business operations of the sale and distribution of isotopes.