This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you agree to our use of cookies. To find out more, see our Privacy and Cookies policy.
Skip to the content

Share this

Free weekly newswire

Sign up to receive all our latest news direct to your inbox.

Physics on film

100 Second Science Your scientific questions answered simply by specialists in less than 100 seconds.

Watch now

Bright Recruits

At all stages of your career – whether you're an undergraduate, graduate, researcher or industry professional – can help find the job for you.

Find your perfect job

Physics connect

Are you looking for a supplier? Physics Connect lists thousands of scientific companies, businesses, non-profit organizations, institutions and experts worldwide.

Start your search today


NRU update: reactor okay to restart

Inspection work at NRU: the reactor will restart shortly (Courtesy: AECL)

By Hamish Johnston

There must have been a collective sigh of relief from North American medical physicists yesterday when the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission said that the NRU reactor can resume operations.

Located at Atomic Energy of Canada’s Chalk River, Ontario lab, the ageing reactor makes Mo-99, which is used to make the medical isotope Tc-99m. NRU normally supplies North America with Tc-99m and accounts for a significant chunk of world production.

Over the past few years the supply of Tc-99m has been interrupted by two unscheduled safety-related shutdowns – with the current shutdown lasting over one year. Yesterday’s announcement means that production should resume by the end of this month.

As well as causing delays for medical procedures the debacle has also had political consequences, with the president of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission being sacked in 2008.

It has also encouraged Canadian physicists to think of new ways of making medical isotopes that don’t involve ancient and unreliable reactors. Indeed, the TRIUMF accelerator lab in Vancouver has just announced that it will build an electron linear accelerator that will produce radioactive isotopes. You can read all about the C$63m ARIEL facility here.

This entry was posted in General. Bookmark the permalink.
View all posts by this author  | View this author's profile

Comments are closed.


  • Comments should be relevant to the article and not be used to promote your own work, products or services.
  • Please keep your comments brief (we recommend a maximum of 250 words).
  • We reserve the right to remove excessively long, inappropriate or offensive entries.

Show/hide formatting guidelines

Tag Description Example Output
<a> Hyperlink <a href="">google</a> google
<abbr> Abbreviation <abbr title="World Health Organisation" >WHO</abbr> WHO
<acronym> Acronym <acronym title="as soon as possible">ASAP</acronym> ASAP
<b> Bold <b>Some text</b> Some text
<blockquote> Quoted from another source <blockquote cite="">IOP</blockquote>
<cite> Cite <cite>Diagram 1</cite> Diagram 1
<del> Deleted text From this line<del datetime="2012-12-17"> this text was deleted</del> From this line this text was deleted
<em> Emphasized text In this line<em> this text was emphasised</em> In this line this text was emphasised
<i> Italic <i>Some text</i> Some text
<q> Quotation WWF goal is to build a future <q cite="">
where people live in harmony with nature and animals</q>
WWF goal is to build a future
where people live in harmony with nature and animals
<strike> Strike text <strike>Some text</strike> Some text
<strong> Stronger emphasis of text <strong>Some text</strong> Some text