Navigation Links
SNM cautions that Canada's Chalk River coming back online will not solve long-term isotope shortage
Date:7/8/2010

Reston, Va.SNM is optimistic that the anticipated recommencement of the Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL)-run National Research Universal (NRU) reactor in Chalk River, Canada, will provide short-term relief to the isotope shortage that has been plaguing patients and the nuclear medicine community for more than one year. However, SNM cautions that the restart of this reactor will not solve the ongoing production and supply issues causing the crisis.

"We are cautiously optimistic that NRU going back online will alleviate some of the most pressing concerns facing the nuclear medicine community," said Robert W. Atcher, Ph.D., M.B.A., chair of SNM's Domestic Isotope Availability Work Group and past president of the society. "However, this is not a magic bullet, and NRU coming back online will not solve this crisis. As the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) staff are reported to have observed, gaps in the assessment of the reactor could have a serious impact on the reliability of the reactor's operation in the future."

In a news conference held last month during SNM's Annual Meeting, Atcher asked Canadian officials to help put an end to this endemic crisis once and for all. "Several years ago, government and industrial parties in Canada assured the nuclear medicine community that Canada's MAPLE reactors could ensure the continued availability of Mo-99 in the U.S.," he said. In 2007, that project was canceled due to cost over-runs and technical problems.

The NRU reactor at Chalk River was unexpectedly shut down in May 2009 after workers discovered a leak during a routine inspection. The NRU reactor supplied more than 35% of the world's supply of Molybdenum-99 (Mo-99)a critical medical isotope whose decay product, Technetium-99m (Tc-99m), is used for common imaging procedures to diagnose and detect heart disease, cancer and other conditions. More than 16 million procedures are conducted annually in the U.S. using that isotope.

Over the past year, AECL announced additional repairs and maintenance issues that further delayed the start date of the NRU reactor. Coupled with scheduled outages at the High Flux Reactor (HFR) at Petten in the Netherlandsthe world's only other major reactor that produces Mo-99many hospitals around the world were forced to either delay or cancel patient procedures.

Of major long-term concern is that the Canadian government has announced previously that they intend to shut down isotope production at the NRU reactor permanently in 2016, which will create another, much longer shortage in the worldwide supply of Mo-99.

"Creating and maintaining a sustainable delivery of radioisotopes is one of SNM's most critical priorities," said Dominique Delbeke, M.D., Ph.D., president of SNM. "We continue to work to advocate for a domestic supply of Mo-99 in the U.S. so that nuclear medicine physicians and technologists have a reliable supply of radioisotopes to perform critical imaging tests that patients need for high-quality care."

At a hearing held July 7, the CNSC approved AECL's request to resume production of Mo-99 at its Chalk River facility. According to AECL officials, repairs have been completed and the reactor is ready to resume production. Production is expected to begin within 10 days of NRU coming back online. The reactor has to be refueled and brought back to power before isotope production can resume.

"In addition to the impact that the shortage has had on the job market for nuclear medicine technologists and the impact on patients, the latest series of setbacks shows that the U.S. needs a reliable domestic isotope supply now more than ever before," added Atcher. The Canadian government's response to the recent expert panel report on what path to take after NRU is shut down has been to retreat to only providing radioisotopes for the Canadian region. This underscores the severity of the problem for the U.S. market, which comprises 50% of the world demand for Mo-99, Atcher noted.

The American Medical Isotopes Production Act of 2009 (H.R. 3276), which would provide funding for the production of a domestic isotope supply, was approved by the U.S. House of Representatives this past fall. The bill is currently in the Senate.


'/>"/>

Contact: Amy Shaw
ashaw@snm.org
703-652-6773
Society of Nuclear Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. People with prediabetes not taking adequate precautions to avoid diabetes
2. Study cautions: Psychotropic medications overprescribed to children
3. New York Truck Driver Watching Porn Kills Mother, Appalls Personal Injury Lawyers Such As David Perecman
4. Rate Regulation for Health Insurance: Obama Administration Should Look to CAs Model Law Which Has Saved Drivers $62 Billion Since 1988
5. More Familiar Roads More Dangerous for Drivers
6. AMA Releases New Older Driver Safety Guide
7. High levels of mercury found in Cataraqui River: Queens study
8. Driver safety Web site from Car Talk, U of Utah
9. UAB testing software program to improve safety among older drivers
10. Docs Issue Guidelines for Drivers With Dementia
11. Older drivers often involved in daytime crashes more severe than younger drivers crashes
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... PurhealthRX , a leading Health and ... Applying the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD oil will revolutionize the rapidly growing CBD ... that can be easily incorporated into liquid products, while reducing costs to end users. ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Apple Rehab Shelton Lakes , which ... evacuation of the facility as part of a disaster drill on October 3rd. , ... and Shelton City Emergency Manager, as well as the Connecticut Long Term Care ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Ellevate Network, the leading network ... advocate for action towards gender equality at their inaugural Summit in New York City ... and reached a social audience of over 3 million. To watch the Mobilize Women ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Talented host, actor Rob Lowe, is introducing ... new episode of "Success Files," which is an award-winning educational program broadcasted on ... subject in-depth with passion and integrity. , Sciatica occurs when the sciatic nerve ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... “America On The Brink”: the Christian history of ... Brink” is the creation of published author, William Nowers. Captain Nowers and his ... veteran, he spent thirty years in the Navy. Following his career as a ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/10/2017)... Calif. , Oct. 10, 2017  NDS received FDA 510(k) ... — a medical-grade battery-powered display stand specifically designed for endoscopy environments. ... transform technology into a clinical solution to support the improvement of ... Innovative Design ... Mobile Wireless Solution ...
(Date:10/5/2017)... ROSEMONT, Ill. , Oct. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... American Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons (AAOMS) ... than opioids – to be used as a ... post-surgical pain. ... relationship, the AAOMS White Paper "Opioid Prescribing: Acute ...
(Date:10/4/2017)... , Oct. 4, 2017 OBP ... self-contained, illuminating medical devices, today announced regulatory approval ... Surveillance Agency (or Agência Nacional de Vigilância Sanitária ... single-use, cordless surgical retractor with integrated LED light ... access, illumination and exposure of a tissue pocket ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: