[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 46 (Friday, March 8, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 15009-15010]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-05444]


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DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY


Consideration of Withdrawal From Commercial Production and 
Distribution of the Radioisotope Germanium-68

AGENCY: Office of Science, Department of Energy.

ACTION: Notice of Inquiry and Request for Comment.

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SUMMARY: The Department of Energy (DOE) currently produces and 
distributes the radioisotope germanium-68. DOE is seeking comment and 
information from the public to assist in its consideration of DOE 
withdrawal from the commercial production and distribution of 
germanium-68, based upon private industry expression of interest in and 
capability to engage in commercial production of germanium-68.

DATES: Interested persons must submit written comments by April 30, 
2013.

ADDRESSES: Comments may be submitted electronically by emailing to: 
Marc.Garland@science.doe.gov. Written comments may be addressed to: Dr. 
Marc Garland, Program Manager, Office of Nuclear Physics, Office of 
Science, U.S. Department of Energy, Germantown Building, SC-26.2, 1000 
Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585-1290. We note that email 
submissions will avoid delay associated with security screening of U.S. 
Postal Service mail.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dr. Jehanne Gillo, Director, 
Facilities and Project Management Division, Office of Nuclear Physics, 
Office of Science, U.S. Department of Energy, Germantown Building, SC-
26.2, 1000 Independence Ave. SW., Washington, DC 20585-1290, Tel: 301-
903-1455.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: It is DOE policy to refrain from competition 
with private industry in the commercial production and distribution of 
radioisotopes when those radioisotopes are reasonably available 
commercially. This policy was announced, and remains in effect, as 
stated in the Notice published in the Federal Register in 1965, 
entitled Policies and Procedures for Transfer of Commercial 
Radioisotope Production and Distribution to Private Industry 
(``Statement of Policy''), 30 FR 3247 (March 9, 1965).
    The Department has been made aware of private industry development 
of commercial production and distribution of the radioisotope 
germanium-68. In light of these circumstances, DOE intends to evaluate 
the capability of private industry to satisfy the market demand for 
germanium-68, consistent with the guidelines provided in the Statement 
of Policy, referenced above. In summary, DOE's evaluation will include 
consideration of: a demonstrable private capability to produce and 
distribute germanium-68; effective competition in the market for the 
production and distribution of germanium-68; assurance that private 
industry will not discontinue production or distribution of germanium-
68 in a manner that would adversely impact the public interest; and the 
germanium-68 will be available at reasonable prices consistent with its 
intended uses and the prices to be charged will also encourage further 
research and development. Comments and information from the public 
received in response to this Notice will be considered in this 
evaluation.
    If the determination is made that germanium-68 is reasonably 
available from commercial sources and it is appropriate for DOE to 
withdraw from commercial production and distribution of this 
radioisotope, DOE will publish in the Federal Register a notice of its 
intent to withdraw from the market, providing the public with 
information regarding the basis and timing of withdrawal. Should DOE 
decide to withdraw from the commercial production and distribution of 
germanium-68, all existing contracts will be honored.


[[Page 15010]]


    Issued in Washington, DC, on February 11, 2013.
Jehanne Gillo,
Director, Facilities and Project Management Division, Office of Nuclear 
Physics, Office of Science.
[FR Doc. 2013-05444 Filed 3-7-13; 8:45 am]
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