Feature | Nuclear Imaging | April 02, 2018 | Dave Fornell

Chalk River Isotope Reactor Decommissioning Date Set

Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission renewed Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ operating license for the Chalk River isotope reactor

The Chalk River nuclear reactor license has been renewed, but will be decommissioned by 2028.

The Chalk River nuclear isotope reactor license has been renewed, but will be decommissioned by 2028. The reactor supplies about 50 percent of the world's supply of Tc99m.

April 2, 2018 – The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced March 29 that it renewed Canadian Nuclear Laboratories’ (CNL) Nuclear Research and Test Establishment Operating License for the Chalk River Laboratories (CRL) site. It was previously the world’s largest production reactor for medical nuclear imaging isotopes. However, the decision includes a plan to transition to shutdown and preparation for decommissioning by 2028.  

The decision followed a public hearing Jan. 23–25, 2018. The new license will be valid from April 1, 2018 until March 31, 2028.

CRL is the largest single science and technology complex in Canada, located near Chalk River, Ontario, about 160 km northwest of Ottawa. The National Research Universal (NRU) reactor at Chalk River has been operating at CRL since 1957. Until Oct. 31, 2016, the reactor produced a large percentage of the world's medical isotopes, used in both the diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening diseases. In late 2016, it ended production of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), the precursor to the making of technetium-99m (Tc-99m), the most widely used radioisotope for single photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) imaging.

The 61-year-old nuclear reactor has had safety concerns requiring shutdowns to make repairs and updates over the past decade. Each time the reactor has shut down, there was a shortage of Tc-99m.  This has prompted the United States government to support plans to create a domestic supply of medical isotopes. In February 2018, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) took steps to ensure a stable and secure supply of Tc-99m. The FDA approved the NorthStar Medical Radioisotopes' RadioGenix System used to produce Mo-99. 

Read the FDA approval article “FDA Clears Path for First Domestic Supply of Tc-99m Isotope.”

With the new Canadian reactor licensing agreement, CNL will present a mid-term update in 2023 on its licensed activities at CRL during a public commission meeting within the community. Members of the public will have the opportunity to intervene orally and in writing. CNSC staff will also report annually on CNL’s performance at CRL at a commission meeting with public participation.

The record of decision is available on request to the Commission Secretariat and will be posted on the CNSC website at nuclearsafety.gc.ca. 

For more information: https://www.canada.ca/en/nuclear-safety-commission/news/2018/03/canadian...

Related Content

The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging's 2020 annual meeting has been reimagined, and is now the SNMMI 2020 Annual Meeting — Virtual Edition
News | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | April 30, 2020
April 30, 2020 — The Society of Nuclear Medicine and Molecular Imaging's 2020 annual meeting has been reimagined, and
#COVID19 #Coronavirus #2019nCoV #Wuhanvirus #SARScov2 U.S. Army Spc. Jonathon Hyde and Spc. Casymn Harrison from the 1434th Engineer Company, Grayling, Mich., Michigan National Guard, prepare patient rooms at TCF Regional Care Center in Detroit in advance of receiving COVID-19 patients, April 9, 2020 #COVID19 #Coronavirus #2019nCoV #Wuhanvirus #SARScov2

U.S. Army Spc. Jonathon Hyde and Spc. Casymn Harrison from the 1434th Engineer Company, Grayling, Mich., Michigan National Guard, prepare patient rooms at TCF Regional Care Center in Detroit in advance of receiving COVID-19 patients, April 9, 2020. The TCF Center in Detroit has been converted into a 970-bed alternative care facility for COVID-19 patients by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Michigan National Guard. (Photo courtesy of U.S. Air National Guard photo by Master Sgt. Scott Thompson)

Feature | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | April 15, 2020 | By Melinda Taschetta-Millane and Dave Fornell
In an effort to keep the imaging field updated on the latest information being released on coronavirus (COVID-19), th
Maximum-intensity PET projections at each time point for one rhesus monkey in the 89Zr-DFO-squaramide-anti-gD group.

Maximum-intensity PET projections at each time point for one rhesus monkey in the 89Zr-DFO-squaramide-anti-gD group. Image courtesy of Eric Berg, University of California, Davis, CA

News | PET Imaging | April 10, 2020
April 10, 2020 — Combining 89Zr-labeled antibodies with total-body...
Recommended best practices for nuclear imaging departments under the COVIF-19 pandemic have been issues by the ASNC and SNMMI. #COVID19 #ASNC #SNMMI #Coronavirus #SARScov2
News | Coronavirus (COVID-19) | April 03, 2020
April 3, 2020 — A new guidance document on best practices to maintain safety and minimize contamination in nuclear im
Novel scanners may open door for prognostic assessment in patients receiving cochlear implants

Iva Speck, MD, explains research showing that novel, fully digital, high-resolution positron emission tomography/computed tomography imaging of small brain stem nuclei can provide clinicians with valuable information concerning the auditory pathway in patients with hearing impairment. The research is featured in The Journal of Nuclear Medicine (read more at http://jnm.snmjournals.org/content/current). Video courtesy of Iva Speck, University Hospital Freiburg, Germany.

News | PET-CT | March 26, 2020
March 26, 2020 — Novel, fully digital, high-resolution...
 “Cyclotrons used in Nuclear Medicine Report & Directory, Edition 2020” that describes close to 1,500 medical cyclotrons worldwide
News | Nuclear Imaging | March 10, 2020
March 10, 2020 — MEDraysintell released its new and unique report “...