Indonesia’s state-owned nuclear technology firm Batan Teknologi (BatanTek) plans to build a nuclear medicine factory in the United States by 2013 to produce radioisotopes for the US market.
Indonesia’s State Enterprises Minister Dahlan Iskan said on Tuesday that BatanTek’s president director, Yudiutomo Imardjoko, was currently in the United States to negotiate details of the plan with US officials, among others.
He said the subsidiary of the National Atomic Energy Agency (Batan) has been exporting radioisotopes for medical purposes to several countries in Southeast Asia, and will start shipping them to China and Japan as well next month.
The US market has also expressed interest in BatanTek products. However, shipping is problematic due to radioisotopes’ nuclear instability, thus the plan to build a production factory in the United States.
“I’ve approved of [the factory proposal]; we expect to conquer the US [radioisotope] market,” Dahlan said, adding that BatanTek had developed a new radioisotope technology that even the United States did not yet have.
He further said construction of the factory was expected to be completed in 2013, and that BatanTek was in the process of recruiting Indonesian graduates with nuclear expertise to prepare for its operations.
“We will also coordinate with the state minister for research and technology [to support the operations],” Dahlan said, as quoted by the Indonesian news portal vivanews.com.