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MDS Nordion Continues to Urge Government of Canada to Complete MAPLE Project to Address Critical Medical Isotope Shortage
Date:7/8/2009

Experts Believe MAPLE Reactors Can Be Brought Into Service

OTTAWA, July 8 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - MDS Nordion, a leading provider of medical isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals, today continued to urge the Government of Canada and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) to complete the MAPLE project to address the global shortage of medical isotopes, following the announcement earlier today by AECL that the 52-year-old National Research Universal (NRU) reactor at Chalk River, Ontario will not return to service before late 2009.

There are no domestic or international sources of supply that can fully mitigate this shortage, which has caused and will continue to cause unavoidable and serious disruptions to patient care. The Petten reactor in The Netherlands, which produces approximately 30% of the world supply of medical isotopes, is also scheduled to be shut down mid-July 2009 for approximately four weeks for scheduled maintenance; and it is expected to be taken off line again in early 2010 to repair a leak.

The fragility of the world's isotope supply can be overcome. MDS Nordion believes it is critical that the Canadian government direct AECL to honour its long-standing commitment to replace the NRU by bringing the MAPLE facilities into service. These facilities would enable Canada to maintain its leadership position in the innovative and increasingly important field of nuclear medicine.

"The Government of Canada has put forth various arguments for why the MAPLE reactors should not be started," said Steve West, President of MDS Nordion. "However, a number of organizations and scientific experts disagree with the Government's position and believe that the MAPLE reactors are safe, that the reactors work and that any technical challenges can be overcome to bring the MAPLEs into service."

"MDS continues to believe that the solution to the global medical isotope crisis is in Canada. The infrastructure is in place, and
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SOURCE MDS Nordion
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