Ottawa halted construction of the project last year because of cost overruns and technical problems. It was planned to be a replacement for the ailing 50-year-old Chalk River unit and take over the production of medical isotopes.
The isotopes are used for diagnosing cancer, heart disease, and other medical conditions.
"There may be groups of individuals and groups of companies out there that want to revisit the Maples and the calls for information and expressions of interest may very well point that out, because there are pieces that are not the reactor that are still utilizable, with still good infrastructure," Natural Resources Minister Lisa Raitt, told reporters.
"So we are hoping to get some interesting proposals coming out in the calls for information," Raitt said.
The minister's comments followed a Toronto meeting with representatives from an international taskforce looking into the medical isotope shortage.
Canada has been in the spotlight for more than a month after the Chalk River reactor, which supplies a third of the world's medical isotopes, was shut down in May because of a small leak of heavy water, used in the nuclear reaction process.
The reactor's operator, government-owned Atomic Energy of Canada (AECL), warned it will be at least three months until the leak is fixed.
Raitt, who came under personal attack recently for calling the shortage a "sexy" issue, and saw it as a way to advance her political career, said on Thursday that AECL is still sticking with its timeline despite speculation it could take much longer to fix the problem.
MDS Nordion, which markets the isotopes worldwide, urged the government and AECL earlier this month to consult with international experts in hopes of reactivating the Maple project.
The company was not immediately available for comment.
Last Updated: 2009-06-18 13:19:39 -0400 (Reuters Health)
Canada wants Chalk River online ASAP, June 19, 2009
Canada cites dangers in abandoned isotope reactors as major reactor remains down, June 16, 2009
Moly crisis overshadows SNM Image of the Year award, June 15, 2009
MDS urges Canada to restart Maple reactor project, June 12, 2009
SNM poll: Isotope shortage affecting users, procedures, June 15, 2009
Copyright © 2009 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. Reuters and the Reuters sphere logo are registered trademarks and trademarks of the Reuters group of companies around the world.