News | Nuclear Imaging | February 02, 2022

Mo-99 supply issues continue following HFR shutdown

The Petten High Flux Reactor in Petten, Netherlands. Image by Tetzemann - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=83953498

The Petten High Flux Reactor in Petten, Netherlands. Image by Tetzemann - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=83953498


February 2, 2022 — Nuclear Medicine Europe has announced that the HFR reactor in Petten, Netherlands, did not resume operations as planned on January 20 due to the detection of a water leak in a cooling system. The planned first 2022 HFR cycle scheduled from January 20 until February 20, 2022 was subsequently canceled. The Nuclear Medicine Europe Emergency Response Team held another call on January 31 with representatives of HFR reactor operator NRG and was informed that the progress on HFR inspections and options for restoring functionality is going well. The endoscopic inspections of the difficult to access piping have been performed and the observations provide strong indication of the origin of the leak and provides important information for assessing the root cause. The HFR project team has identified different options for restoring functionality and intends to select the preferred option in the course of this week. NRG has discussed the generic plan of an approach with the Dutch nuclear safety authority ANVS. At this time, a target date for HFR restart cannot be yet be provided as it is dependent upon selection of the preferred technical option and further elaboration of planning. NRG will provide the next update on Monday 7 February 2022. The ERT was also given updates from research reactors and Mo-99 producers in regard to actions underway to limit impacts on Mo-99/Tc-99m supply. However, some shortages of Mo-99/Tc-99m will be inevitable untinul approximately a week after the BR2 resumes operations on February 12th. Reports also indicated some impact on both Lu-177 and I-131 availability. Medical institutions should contact their radioisotope suppliers to determine the specific impact on their orders. NMEu will communicate again with stakeholders on Feb. 7, 2022. 

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