[ RadSafe ] Disruption of medical isotope supply

Geo>K0FF GEOelectronics at netscape.com
Thu Dec 6 11:46:57 CST 2007

Pertaining to the discussion:

George Dowell
New London Nucleonics Lab
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Christopher W. Becker" <cwbecker at umich.edu>
To: <radsafe at radlab.nl>
Sent: Thursday, December 06, 2007 10:34 AM
Subject: RE: [ RadSafe ] Disruption of medical isotope supply


I usually don't chime in to these BUT.  There are a limited number of
"higher" power research and test reactors (NRC verbiage for non-power
producing reactors) in the United States.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
University of Missouri - Columbia
National Institute of Standards and Technology - Gaithersburg
High Flux Isotope Reactor - Oak Ridge (DOE)
Idaho National Laboratory - Idaho (DOE)
Sandia National Laboratory - New Mexico (DOE)

Although, one or two of them generate isotopes in some areas, I am not aware
of any of them pursuing Molly-99 for a variety of reasons (technical and
financial).  The lack of a second source should have been a known issue for
years.  I am mused at how surprised many have been that there IS only one
source. If you are waiting for DOE or the federal government to ride in and
save the day.........

Now Nordian has been making plans for a new reactor to supply this and other
materials.....but there are some big problems with the design (can you say
positive reactivity feeback).

So........if you were surprised this time......

Christopher W. Becker

We just got word that MDS Nordion is having supply problems.  Does anyone
have information about what alternate sources of medical isotopes may be
available and whether they will be able to make up the shortfall?   (I
think I know the answers, but I'm hoping someone has better information than

A potion of Nordion's update to its customers is attached.

        Ottawa, Canada, December 5, 2007 - MDS Nordion, a leading provider
        of medical isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals, has provided a
        further update to their medical isotope customers about a supply
        issue at Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) that is now
        expected to extend into January 2008. AECL has advised MDS Nordion
        that a further extension of the maintenance shutdown at the
        National Research Universal reactor will be required to complete
        its upgrade of the electrical back-up system to address a
        regulatory issue.
        AECL is working closely with their regulator, the Canadian Nuclear
        Safety Commission, to finalize and complete implementation of their
        upgrade plan. Based on the most current information from AECL, we
        understand that they are now targeting a return to full production
        in early to mid-January.
        MDS Nordion is concerned with the impact that AECL's supply
        disruption is having on customers and patients. As the global
        leader in the supply of medical isotopes, MDS Nordion is working
        closely with its back-up supply network to mitigate the impact. ...
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