News | August 04, 2009

MDS Nordion Says MAPLE Reactors Could Solve the Isotope Crisis

August 4, 2009 - MDS Nordion, a leading provider of medical isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals, has submitted a proposal to Canada’s Expert Review Panel on Medical Isotope and Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) Generator Production, stating the best answer to the shortage of medical radioisotopes is the completion and bringing into service of the MAPLE project.

With no domestic or international sources of supply that can fully mitigate the current global shortage of medical isotopes, MDS Nordion urges Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) to complete the MAPLE project to address this shortage. With expertise and guidance from the South African Nuclear Energy Corp. (Necsa), owner and operator of the SAFARI-1 reactor, and working with AECL, MDS Nordion believes a solution could be achieved in an estimated 24 months.

MDS Nordion urges AECL to honor its long-standing commitment to replace the National Research Universal (NRU) by bringing the MAPLE facilities into service. This company says it can be done through AECL collaborating with Necsa on the adaption of the OSCAR computer codes, which are successfully used by the world’s leading isotope producing reactors. The computer codes are specifically designed to model research reactor performance and operation and are being used by the High Flux Reactor in Petten, Netherlands, and SAFARI-1, in South Africa. MDS Nordion says adopting the OSCAR computer codes could be essential to resolving the existing discrepancy between the predicted and measured value of the power coefficient of reactivity of the MAPLE reactors allowing them to be licensed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) for safe operation.

In addition to the OSCAR computer codes, MDS Nordion is proposing the construction of a fully licensed production facility to manufacture Tc-99m generators for distribution to Canadian hospitals in all regions of Canada and abroad. MDS Nordion said it will build, operate and maintain the generator production line, and perform all necessary activities; including provision of licensed packaging, consumable supplies and facilitate transport logistics to all Canadian healthcare centers.

For more information: www.mdsnordion.com

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