20 Jun SHINE’s medical isotope facility set to go online next year
The head of SHINE Technologies says the company is “at the end of a long road” with its Janesville medical isotope production facility set to go online next year.
But the journey won’t stop there, CEO Greg Piefer told WisBusiness.com in a recent interview, as this step represents just the second phase of a four-part plan that could span decades to come.
SHINE Technologies was founded by Piefer in 2005 with an ultimate goal of developing nuclear fusion-based energy production. But to reach that result, he knew the company would need time to build its technical capabilities while delivering value in the near-term. That led to the creation of the plan’s four phases, representing “the intersection of reasonable advancement and clear unmet market needs,” he explained.
The first phase, which involves using fusion-based techniques for materials imaging, is commercialized and growing, Piefer said. This method of non-destructive testing, similar to X-ray technology, uses neutrons instead to inspect certain materials in aerospace, defense manufacturing and other industries.
He said only nuclear reactors had historically produced enough neutrons to sustain this type of imaging. But SHINE developed a way to use nuclear fusion to meet this need “with a much cheaper, cleaner, safer system” that’s more cost-effective as well.
“My hope is that ultimately as the old reactors go offline, we become absolutely instrumental to the continuity of that supply chain and even increase access to neutrons so other manufacturers who aren’t currently using them can make better, safer products,” he said.