Cyclone-30: India’S Biggest Cyclotron Facility Becomes Operational (Download PDF)


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India’s biggest cyclotron facility named Cyclone-30 became operational at Kolkata-based Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre (VECC), which comes under Department of Atomic Energy (DAE).

Image of India’s biggest cyclotron facility

Image of India’s Biggest Cyclotron Facility

Image of India’s biggest cyclotron facility

Cyclotron is used to produce radioisotopes for diagnostic & therapeutic use for cancer care.

  • Radiations from these isotopes are used to destroy cancer cells.


  • It will produce radioisotopes vital for diagnosis & treatment of cancer.

  • It will be 1st & only cyclotron facility in country to produce Germanium 68 radioisotopes, which is used in diagnosis of breast cancer.

  • It will produce Palladium 103 isotopes, which is used for treatment of prostate cancer.

  • It will produce Iodine 123 isotopes, which can help detect thyroid cancer.

  • It started working for 1st time when 30 MeV beam reached Faraday Cup (a metal cup designed to catch charged particles in vacuum).

  • Beam from this facility was used to produce fluorine-18 isotope for preparation of radio-pharmaceutical fluorodeoxy glucose (FDG) , which is used for diagnose various types of cancer.

  • It will start regular production by mid-2019 after supporting nuclear systems & regulatory clearances are commissioned.

Significance of Cyclone-30

  • High-energy & high-yielding Cyclone-30 machine will provide for affordable radio isotopes & related radiopharmaceuticals for entire country, especially for eastern states like West Bengal.

  • It will help in bringing down imports, while raising possibility of exporting radioisotopes in future.

  • It has export potential for germanium-68 & gallium-68 generator for in-situ production of gallium-68 & palladium-103 isotopes, which are used for breast cancer diagnosis & prostate cancer treatment, respectively.

  • It can be used for research in fields of material science & nuclear physics.

Significance of Cyclone-30

  • 8.3 % of total number of deaths in India in 2016 was because of cancer & number of new cases has increased from 5.48 lakh in 1990 to 1.1 million in 2016.

  • Many radioisotopes for cancer treatment are imported while some are produced in nuclear research reactors such as Apsara at Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC) & remaining in cyclotrons facilities run by large pvt. hospitals, making cancer treatment costly.

- Published/Last Modified on: November 2, 2018

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