ATOX Co., Ltd.

Our BusinessesRI and Life Sciences Business

New technologies support our future

In addition to our two core businesses of maintenance/management of nuclear power plants and business related to radioactive materials, ATOX focuses on supporting RI (radioisotope) research facilities and working in the life sciences (nuclear medicine) field.

Support of RI Research Facilities

Operation and Maintenance of Various Accelerators and Medical PET

ATOX operates and maintains a medium-scale cyclotron accelerator used for the production of Single Photon Emission Computed Tomography (SPECT) test reagents. We are also stationed at each hospital to operate and maintain small-scale cyclotrons used for the production of Positron Emission Tomography (PET) diagnostics reagents.
Furthermore, we are taking on challenges in the medical business centering on nuclear medicine, including the operation of accelerators in general hospitals and clinics where PET is installed, as well as involvement in the manufacture of PET investigational drugs that can detect amyloid β, which is one of the causative substances of 18F-FDG and Alzheimer's, and is widely used in cancer diagnosis.

Adjusting the tandem accelerator booster
Adjusting the tandem accelerator booster
Adjusting the tandem accelerator beam
Adjusting the tandem accelerator beam

Removal of Radioactive Material

Removal of radioactive material

ATOX has a wide range of know-how cultivated through our years of experience in radioactive contamination removal. Depending on the object to be decontaminated and the site conditions, we always use the most appropriate decontamination approach, such as using dedicated robots that we developed, releasing restrictions on a controlled area, or reducing waste.

Decontamination of Facilities and Equipment

Decontamination of facilities and equipment

By effectively leveraging our abundant experience and our unique radiation management technology, we can safely and reliably decontaminate facilities and equipment that are contaminated with radioactive materials.

Replacement of Filters

Replacement of Filters

We replace filters in supply/exhaust systems, as well as replacing resin in radioactive wastewater treatment and filters in water distribution systems.

Cleaning of Storage Tanks

Facilities that handle radioisotopes generate contaminated radioactive liquid waste. ATOX performs periodic decontamination and cleaning work to remove contamination in storage tanks used to treat the radioactive liquid waste.

Radiation Management

Total Care for Radiation Facilities

We are able to measure radiation dose (rate) in your facility. Specifically, we measure radiation dose (rate) externally, and measure leakage dose from radioisotope equipment and radiation generators, and then evaluate the working environment.

Measurement of Radioactive Material Concentration

Our class-1 working environment measurement expert measures the concentration of radioactive material in the air and evaluates the working environment.

Contamination Inspection

We conduct contamination inspection (inspection on surface density) for facilities and equipment by both direct method (direct survey) and indirect method (smear method). We also conduct contamination inspection for facilities to be decommissioned, and prepare a set of documents (reports on countermeasures, etc.) to be submitted to government agencies.

* Our registration number in the Working Environment Measurement Agency is 27-79.

Support to Apply for Permission for Change pertaining to Authorized Use (Including Shielding Calculations)

When establishing a facility that handles radioactive isotopes, various standards must be met to acquire permission from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. ATOX performs shielding calculations based on the type and quantity of radioisotopes, and supports preparing other permission applications (including change permission).

Decommissioning Work of Radiation Facilities

Our decommissioning team, established in 2015, carries out decommissioning work utilizing our extensive experience and broad expertise under a system that can respond quickly to each customer request.

Environmental Measurement

Measurement of Working Environments

ATOX is registered with the Working Environment Measurement Agency, and always performs necessary environmental measurements in indoor workplaces handling harmful substances based on the Industrial Safety and Health Act. We deploy a large number of working environment measurement experts throughout Japan who can respond to a wide range of requests and expectations from facility managers.

Measurement work
Measurement work
Measuring equipment
Measuring equipment

Registration Categories

  • No.1: Mineral dust
  • No.2: Ionizing radioactive material
  • No.3: Specific chemical substances
  • No.4: Metals
  • No.5: Organic solvents

Radioactivity Measurement

Radioactive materials (radioisotopes, nuclear fuel materials, nuclear raw materials) are commonly used in research, medical care, industry, and agriculture fields.
Recently, some radioactive materials that were used in the past or whose history is unknown have been found. A number of our measurement experts have the ability to identify nuclides and measure radioactivity using germanium semiconductor detectors.
In addition to handling these unknown materials, we can also measure various kinds of samples including environmental samples. Please feel free to contact us.

Nuclear Medicine Related Areas

Research on Practical Use of Head PET Device

Producing prototype for practical use
Producing prototype for practical use

Today, practical use of PET for early diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease is attracting more attention. However, conventional large PET systems for full body imaging still have issues with reducing costs and improving image quality. Therefore, we concluded a joint research agreement with the National Institute for Quantum and Radiological Science and Technology on July15, 2016, with the aim of commercializing a head-only PET device (a helmet type for dementia diagnosis). This device offers higher sensitivity and lower cost than conventional ones, and has a compact shape that is advantageous for popularization in the future.
We obtained a medical device approval for Vrain on October 7, 2021, and it was released on January 18, 2022.

Started Development Research on Lead 212 (212Pb) Generator

We signed a joint research agreement with the Institute of Physical and Chemical Research (RIKEN) on November 30, 2017, and started development research on a 212 (212Pb) generator used for nuclear medicine treatment, which utilizes alpha-emitting nuclides and is now attracting more attention as a new cancer treatment.
Nuclear medicine treatment using alpha-emitting nuclides can target cancer cells with alpha rays from the inside the patient's body. This approach is also expected to be an effective "cancer treatment that cures without cutting" for metastatic cancer. Also, the 212Pb generator is a small-sized device that can produce 212Pb from radium 224 (224Ra) without using large-scale facilities such as nuclear reactors or accelerators.
This joint research will be implemented for five years as one of the projects adopted in 2017 by the Industry-Academia Co-creation Platform Joint Research Promotion Program (OPERA) of Japan Science and Technology Agency.
With a wealth of experience in RI research spanning more than 80 years, RIKEN has produced tremendous research results, including the discovery of a new element called Nihonium, under the well-organized research environment and operating system. On the other hand, we have established business offices at nuclear facilities since the 1950s and built up comprehensive maintenance technology for nuclear facilities since then. Recently, we have been developing business in the medical field utilizing RI. This joint research is a project takes leverages each other's strengths.

[Supplement] Outline and benefits of nuclear medicine treatment utilizing alpha-emitting nuclides
Nuclear medicine treatment using alpha-emitting nuclides

Unlike conventional external radiotherapy, this cancer treatment injects alpha-emitting nuclides into the patient`s veins that directly act on cancer cells. For castration-resistant prostate cancer with bone metastases, internal therapy that uses radium chloride 223 (223RaCl2), an alpha-emitting nuclide, has already been commercialized.
This treatment has the following two main benefits:

  1. By combining lead 212 (212Pb) with antibodies or peptides that specifically accumulate in cancer sites and administering it intravenously, we can target multiple cancer sites in the patient`s body at once.
  2. Alpha rays impose quite a low load on healthy sites because they act only on a very small area of cells around the anchorage area.