DOE News Release
Sept. 1, 2005

John Howze, 208-526-6864, or John Walsh, 208-526-8646,

Editors: Photos available – Freud, Lake, Grossenbacher

World Nuclear University Fellow builds global ties with isotope donation

An Israeli researcher came halfway around the world this summer to study nuclear technology and leadership at Idaho National Laboratory – then demonstrated his skills by an act of humanity that will help cancer patients in two developing nations.

Roy Freud was one of 77 Fellows from 34 nations at the World Nuclear University Summer Institute recently completed at INL. On nearly the last day of the six-week course, Freud — a reactor operator at the Israel Atomic Energy Commission Nuclear Research Center — heard a presentation showing that Mongolia and Ghana both need iodine-131, a radioisotope, to use in cancer treatment. Iodine-131 is not a weapons grade material and cannot be used in a nuclear weapon.

"I thought there was something I could do about this," Freud said. "I called my father (Dr. Amos Freud), who is the head of radiochemistry at the research center, and asked him if it would be okay to donate this radioisotope, which is used in treating thyroid cancer. He gave his approval and was very enthusiastic about it."

There were some limitations — Israel could only agree to provide the isotope at cost — but that is a substantial savings from the market price for the two recipient nations. The U.S. government is not a party to this transaction and all International Atomic Energy Agency regulations will need to be followed.

"The WNU Fellows were excited that this happened," said WNU coordinator Karen Leibert. "Here they have been learning both technical things and how to show leadership, and Roy Freud gave a valuable demonstration of it. WNU is focused on developing increased international cooperation in nuclear technologies – and that's exactly what Israel did."

INL Associate Laboratory Director James Lake was not surprised.

"This is an exceptional group of future world leaders of the nuclear enterprise," Lake said. "INL has been proud to contribute to this six-week Institute, and we are eager to host future activities of this kind. We all hope that the Institute Fellows have developed strong relationships with their peers from around the world that will serve them and us well in promoting the peaceful uses of nuclear technology in the future."

Now, WNU will be working with the International Atomic Energy Agency to see if further international help can be arranged to pay shipping costs, and even part or all of the isotope cost.

"Israel is not the U.S. We are not able to donate it free of charge, but it is an act of charity for us to give it at cost," Freud said. "Who knows? Perhaps when you hear the words 'Israel's nuclear industry' in the future, you will think more positively of it."

In one of the closing addresses of the six-week WNU Summer Institute, INL Laboratory Director John Grossenbacher spoke to the international group on qualities of leadership.

"The WNU Summer Institute is a huge occurrence," he said. "Don't underestimate the impact you can have through the relationships you've developed here and the perspectives you have gained. Be bold and exercise initiative."

Freud acted to alleviate a demonstrated need – and WNU chalked up a contribution to greater global cooperation in using nuclear energy – peacefully – for all mankind.

More on WNU

Freud can be contacted at


Printer Friendly
Please note that it is the responsibility of the individual making information available on this website to ensure that any applicable reviews/approvals have been obtained from the originating organization.
Copyright © 2011 Idaho National Laboratory