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Laboratory wins awards for commercializing technology

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February 22, 2001 Share This!

RICHLAND, Wash. — Researchers at the Department of Energy's Pacific Northwest National Laboratory have been recognized again this year by the Federal Laboratory Consortium for their efforts in the commercialization of important laboratory-developed technologies.

PNNL has been honored with four 'excellence in technology transfer' awards. The technologies were among 35 recognized nationwide by the FLC this year. PNNL has been honored by the FLC more than any other federal laboratory collecting 48 such awards since the program began in 1984.

Yttrium-90 for Cancer Treatment

PNNL researchers have developed an efficient method for retrieving the medical isotope yttrium-90 from purified strontium-90. Yttrium-90 is the therapeutic isotope of choice for the treatment of many types of human cancer. During the past decade, PNNL has supplied large quantities of yttrium-90 to hospitals worldwide. Today, following the privatization of this process, the production, shipping, marketing and sales of the isotope have been transferred to Perkin Elmer/NEN Life Sciences in Boston, Mass.

PNNL provided training and quality control oversight of this complicated and exacting process to Perkin Elmer/NEN to ensure the standards set by the Food and Drug Administration are met.

Radionuclide Detection Technologies

Two devices designed to detect nuclear explosions, the Automated Radioxenon Sampler Analyzer (ARSA) and the Radionuclide Aerosol Sampler/Analyzer (RASA), were developed at PNNL and currently are being deployed worldwide to verify international compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty. These two breakthrough technologies permit fast, accurate and economical detection of radionuclides that are emitted from nuclear explosions either in the atmosphere or underground. DME Corp., Orlando, Fla., a manufacturer of safety and diagnostic equipment, is commercially producing and selling these units for use in a global explosion-monitoring network.

Multi-Blade Knife Failure Detector

In the food processing industry, when a cutting knife failure goes undetected, truckloads of high value product are reduced to animal feed that the processing plant must frequently pay to have removed. A multidisciplinary team of scientists and engineers headed by PNNL has solved this problem with development of the Multi-Blade Knife Failure Detector for Food Processing. In use today at many Lamb-Weston processing plants worldwide, knife failures can be detected within one second, triggering an alarm and signaling a blade replacement.

Today, this process monitoring technology is being used to ensure product quality, cut costs, and reduce waste in many other industrial situations where gathering production and processing data in real time is difficult or nearly impossible to obtain.
Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory Publisher Software

EMSL Publisher is a powerful word processing and presentation tool that offers the unique ability to run the same software on any computer platform. It enables users to collaborate on complex documents over the Internet without the usual loss of format or readability that can occur when a software application is used on different computer systems.

A comprehensive technology transfer research and marketing effort resulted in PNNL signing a license agreement with e-commerce vendor of Cleveland, Ohio, to sell EMSL Publisher on its web site (, search 'PNNL'). This single license agreement enables many sales to be generated without the need to negotiate a separate license agreement with each buyer.

A formal ceremony honoring the winning entries will be held at the FLC's 2001 National Meeting in Burlington, Vt., on May 1, 2001.

PNNL was permitted to submit up to four entries into the competition. All four won the award. Annually, the FLC recognizes federal laboratory employees who have made significant contributions in transferring important federally funded technology into the private sector. The FLC is comprised of more than 700 federal laboratories and centers nationwide. For additional information about the PNNL's 2001 FLC Awards, visit the PNNL web site at

Business inquiries on the award-winning technologies can be directed to 1-888-375-PNNL or

Tags: EMSL

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