The Ottawa Citizen reported that AECL made its request to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on December 19, 2009, citing a commission document obtained by the news outlet. According to the report, AECL declined to discuss specific details of its request for national security reasons.
However, AECL spokesman Dale Coffin is quoted as saying that AECL did "not want to be in a position where we have to shut the reactor down because we don't have material. We're trying to plan ahead here because of the lead times required."
The 52-year-old Chalk River reactor has been out of service since last May when a major water leak was discovered. With repairs currently under way, AECL anticipates the facility will begin producing medical isotopes again in late March.
The reactor produces approximately 50% of the molybdenum-99 supply for the U.S.
AECL reactor repairs on schedule, December 24, 2009
Canada takes bids on AECL unit, December 18, 2009
Canadian panel promotes new reactor, December 8, 2009
AECL: Chalk River repair will cost $70M, October 20, 2009
AECL moves toward NRU repairs, October 9, 2009
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