By Hamish Johnston
The sorry saga of the NRU reactor and its owner Atomic Energy of Canada (AECL) continues.
The idle reactor, which normally produces about one third of the world’s supply of medical isotopes, will not be restarted until next year.
The reactor stopped running unexpectedly in May and has been down ever since — leaving the global medical community very worried.
And to make matters worse for AECL, a few weeks ago the Ontario government rejected a previously accepted bid from the firm to build two large power reactors outside Toronto. If AECL cannot win back the project, many worry that its days could be numbered.
Another threat to the Canadian reactor industry is the possibility of creating medical isotopes using an accelerator rather than a reactor. There was a nice article in the Globe and Mail earlier this week warning that the country’s reactor expertise could soon ebb away.