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MDS Nordion Provides Update on AECL's Medical Isotope Supply Disruption
Date:5/19/2009

OTTAWA, May 19 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - MDS Nordion, a leading provider of medical isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals, has received information from its primary supplier, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL), regarding an interruption in the supply of medical isotopes, primarily molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) used in the manufacturing of technetium-99m generators.

AECL has advised MDS Nordion that they anticipate the National Research Universal reactor (NRU) will remain out of service for more than one month. According to a press release issued by AECL on May 18, 2009, the shutdown is a result of a heavy water leak that has been identified at the base of the reactor vessel. AECL has indicated that repair options are currently under consideration.

MDS Nordion expects the impact of this shutdown to begin to be felt this week. The NRU produces approximately 30%-40% of the world's medical isotopes and approximately 50% of those used in North America, and is one of only four reactors in the world with the capacity to produce significant commercial quantities. While MDS Nordion is working closely with its supply network to source additional isotopes, based on AECL's information and global supply capability, the Company expects that the medical community and their patients will experience a significant shortage of isotopes worldwide.

MDS Nordion recognizes the important role medical isotopes play in the diagnosis and treatment of life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and cancer. The Company continues to work to secure a reliable, long-term supply of medical isotopes. In 1996, MDS Nordion contracted for AECL to complete and commission the MAPLE reactors, which were meant to replace the NRU. This project was unilaterally discontinued in May 2008 by the federal government and AECL. MDS Inc.'s investment in the MAPLE project was approximately US$350 million. MDS believes that the completion of the MAPLE project is the best alternative to prov
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SOURCE MDS Nordion
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