A top supplier of medical isotopes closed through 2009

July 8, 2009

An aging Canadian nuclear reactor responsible for production of one-third of the isotopes used in medical radiation treatment around the world will be out of service through at least the end of 2009, authorities said Wednesday.

The half-century old National Research Universal (NRU) reactor in Chalk River, Ontario was shut down on May 15 after a leak of radioactive water inside the reactor.

According to the latest information the reactor was undergoing repairs but officials said it was uncertain how soon that work would be completed.

Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) announced the delay on Wednesday, and said everything possible is being done to speed repairs to the aging facility.

"Returning the NRU to service to support the production of medical for Canadian patients and health care practitioners is our primary objective," said AECL's president and chief executive Hugh MacDiarmid.

"We have a dedicated team working around the clock to bring the NRU back to operation as quickly and as safely as possible. However, it is a complex task with many variables," he said in a statement.

Company officials said AECL is working closely with safety inspectors at the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to repair the Chalk River reactor, while metallurgical and material experts are working with outside engineering firms on cleaning and repairing the reactor.

produced by the Chalk River reactor are used to treat cancer and heart patients around the world.

(c) 2009 AFP

Explore further: Officials seek cause of reactor shutdown

Related Stories

Officials seek cause of reactor shutdown

November 3, 2006

Authorities are investigating the cause of the nuclear reactor shutdown at Three Mile Island near Harrisburg, Pa., although no radiation leaked in the incident.

Sustainable nuclear energy moves a step closer

December 11, 2006

In future a new generation of nuclear reactors will create energy, while producing virtually no long-lasting nuclear waste, according to research conducted by Wilfred van Rooijen, who will receive his Delft University of ...

Closed reactor causes medicine shortage

February 24, 2008

Delays in restarting a new nuclear reactor in Australia have forced the country to ration radiopharmaceuticals needed for medical tests.

Recommended for you

Machine Translates Thoughts into Speech in Real Time

December 21, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- By implanting an electrode into the brain of a person with locked-in syndrome, scientists have demonstrated how to wirelessly transmit neural signals to a speech synthesizer. The "thought-to-speech" process ...

Quantum Theory May Explain Wishful Thinking

April 14, 2009

(PhysOrg.com) -- Humans don’t always make the most rational decisions. As studies have shown, even when logic and reasoning point in one direction, sometimes we chose the opposite route, motivated by personal bias or simply ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.