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MDS Nordion Urges Government of Canada to Complete MAPLE Project to Address Current Medical Isotope Supply Shortage
Date:6/1/2009

OTTAWA, June 1 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - MDS Nordion, a leading provider of medical isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals, today urged the Government of Canada and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) to consult with international experts and obtain their assistance toward activating the MAPLE project to address the current shortage of medical isotopes created by the shutdown of the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor at Chalk River, Ontario - and to avoid similar occurrences in the future.

Given that 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, MDS Nordion has requested that the 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 current NRU shutdown - and the shutdown of November 2007 - illustrates the fragility and unpredictability of the global medical-isotope supply system, and highlights the requirement for new research reactor capacity to deliver a reliable long-term supply of medical isotopes," said Steve West, President of MDS Nordion. "The solution to the global medical isotope crisis is in Canada. The infrastructure is in place, and with the assistance of an international consortium of nuclear experts, the MAPLE facilities could be producing medical isotopes to the benefit of patients worldwide."

At more than 50 years of age, the NRU, the largest producer of medical isotopes in the world, produces 30%-40% of the world's medical isotopes, and approximately 50% of those used in North America. These isotopes are then processed by MDS Nordion at its state-of-the-art, 300,000-square-foot facility in Ottawa. Isotope
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SOURCE MDS Nordion
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