On January 29, 2009, Dr. Kevin Crowley, Study Director of the National Academy of Science, stated in his presentation to the Nuclear Energy Association that "AECL's May 2008 decision to discontinue work on the MAPLE reactors is a blow to worldwide supply reliability."
MDS's primary objective through the legal proceedings is to have AECL honour its long-standing commitment to replace the NRU by bringing the MAPLE facilities into service, and provide a 40-year supply of medical isotopes.
Expert Opinion on MAPLE
In its January 2009 report, Medical Isotope Production without Highly Enriched Uranium, The National Academy of Science Committee states that "AECL could probably contract with another organization to fix the MAPLE reactors...if it does not have the necessary in-house technical expertise or resources to do the work itself."
In a Viewpoint article that appeared in the October 2, 2008 edition of Nuclear Engineering International, Dr. Harold Smith, ex-Manager, MAPLE Nuclear Commissioning, HIZ and Associates Inc., stated that the "MAPLE reactor is probably the safest reactor design in existence since it actually has three shutdown systems... The MAPLE reactor operated like a dream, and was fully capable of meeting all objectives."
Other Longer-Term Supply Alternatives
In addition to MAPLE, MDS Nordion will continue to examine other supply alternatives. On April 28, 2009, MDS Nordion announced an agreement with TRIUMF, Canada's national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, to study the feasibility of producing a viable and reliable supply of photo fission-based molybdenum-99.
Companies and organizations from around the world, including MDS Nordion,
are working individually and collectively to mitigate the impact to patients
|SOURCE MDS Nordion|
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