A top supplier of medical isotopes closed through 2009

Jul 08, 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: Strategies can help docs lower their tax burden

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Officials seek cause of reactor shutdown

Nov 03, 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

Dec 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 ...

Recommended for you

The human race evolved to be fair for selfish reasons

15 hours ago

"Make sure you play fairly," often say parents to their kids. In fact, children do not need encouragement to be fair, it is a unique feature of human social life, which emerges in childhood. When given the o ...

Non-stop PET/CT scan provides accurate images

Sep 18, 2014

Siemens is improving PET/CT imaging and data quality while reducing radiation exposure. The Biograph mCT Flow PET/CT scanner is a new positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) system that, ...

Experts: Chopin's heart shows signs of TB

Sep 17, 2014

The preserved heart of composer Frederic Chopin contains signs of tuberculosis and possibly some other lung disease, medical experts said Wednesday.

User comments : 0