Dr. Greg Piefer is the CEO of our parent company SHINE Medical Technologies and the Phoenix division. He started SHINE in 2005 with a long-term goal of achieving clean, fusion energy. Greg’s inspiration came from a professor at UW-Madison who suggested that pursuing near-term applications of nuclear fusion would be a worthwhile endeavor for his post-graduate students.

Greg took this message to heart, forming SHINE and constructing a state-of-the-art neutron generator after receiving his PhD in nuclear engineering. However, soon after finishing his first neutron generator, Greg began to realize the vast array of applications for such innovative technology. While the generator could be used to produce Mo-99, a much-needed medical isotope, it could also take neutron images, implant ions, detect explosives, and perform radiation survivability tests.

While SHINE focused on Mo-99 production, the Phoenix division began to experiment with further R&D and neutron generator production.

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Mo-99 decays into the diagnostic imaging agent technetium-99m (tech-99m), which is used in over 40 million medical imaging procedures each year—primarily in stress tests to detect heart disease and in bone scans to determine the stage of cancer progression.

Despite constituting approximately half of the world’s demand for Mo-99, the US produces very little Mo-99 domestically and currently imports the vast majority of its supply from foreign nuclear reactors.  Many of these reactors are beyond their original design lifespan and scheduled to be shut down in the coming years.

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