Nordion, AECL settle reactor lawsuits
Article Thumbnail ImageAugust 20, 2013 -- Nordion and Atomic Energy of Canada (AECL) have entered into an agreement to resolve a dispute over nuclear facilities used to produce radioisotopes.

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Under the terms of the settlement, Nordion will receive $15 million Canadian ($14.4 million U.S.) in cash from AECL, while AECL will release its claim against Nordion of approximately $47 million ($46.1 million U.S.) for arbitration costs.

In addition, Nordion has withdrawn its lawsuit against AECL related to the Multipurpose Applied Physics Lattice Experiment (MAPLE) reactor, which AECL had planned to build to replace an aging reactor that is one of the primarily sources in North America for molybdenum-99 (Mo-99). Mo-99 is used to produce technetium-99m, which is commonly used in cardiac nuclear medicine procedures. AECL's cancellation of the project triggered the dispute between the firms.

The release includes Nordion's claim for damages against AECL of approximately $244 million ($234.2 million U.S.) and AECL's counterclaim for damages against Nordion of $80 million ($76.8 million U.S.).

The amended and restated isotope supply agreement is a nonexclusive agreement for medical isotope supply by AECL to Nordion that ends on October 31, 2016. The pact may be terminated if, among other possibilities, Nordion establishes an alternative supply of isotopes, AECL's isotope production facilities are permanently shut down, or Nordion fails to meet a minimum purchase quantity.

In a prepared statement, Nordion CEO Steve West said the "resolution provides greater clarity for Nordion and removes the uncertainty and liability around these matters. Nordion is now better positioned to focus on the needs and priorities of our business, including our important relationship with AECL, with a continued view to enhancing shareholder value and creating new opportunities for the company and our customers."