Dutch reactor won't restart until February 2009

European nuclear medicine practitioners got good news and bad news this week on the status of a Dutch nuclear reactor whose shutdown has imperiled supplies of radioisotopes around the world.

The good news is that the Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG) has set a date to restart its High Flux Reactor in Petten, Netherlands, for the manufacture of medical isotopes.

The bad news is that the date is February 16, 2009, extending total downtime for the facility to six months.

To get the reactor back online, the engineering firm working on repairing the reactor must fix a pipe wall of the primary coolant system. In its announcement, the NRG described the repair as a "particularly complex matter," which will require "considerable effort."

With the NRG contributing between 30% and 40% of the world's medical isotope production, the unplanned shutdown of the reactor has resulted in shortages, which now could continue until February.

During a meeting of the Association of Imaging Producers & Equipment Suppliers (AIPES) on October 13, NRG updated the Petten situation, so other isotope producers may make their own measures to limit shortages as much as possible.

According to the NRG, the conclusion at the meeting is that supply will continue to be limited, with delivery "vulnerable and with limited guarantee."

Related Reading

Dutch reactor opening delayed another month, September 19, 2008

Dutch reactor down two more months, September 8, 2008

European group meets over isotope supply, September 4, 2008

AECL: Increased production won't cover demand, August 29, 2008

SNM has 'serious concerns' over isotope situation, August 28, 2008

Copyright © 2008 AuntMinnie.com

Page 1 of 436
Next Page