Friday, 24 February 2012

Medical isotope production at CLS in Saskatchewan

More on medical isotope production at CLS in Saskatchewan, if now they also build a research reactor for neutron scattering and nuclear R&D, they will really become the new leader province in these areas and even become the scientific hub of noth America having both a light source and a research reactor in a single university campus!: "Scientists at the Canadian Light Source are closer to producing medical isotopes without using a nuclear reactor, paving the way for Saskatoon to become a supplier of the essential component used in nuclear medicine.
A new particle accelerator was delivered to the CLS last week. While the three sections of pipe, each 1.2 metres long, still sit in the shipping crates, it will be assembled and installed at the home of Canada's synchrotron research centre before the end of the month, according to Mark de Jong, CLS's director of accelerators and the leader of the Canadian Isotope Project.
"The accelerator that we have purchased, I think if we are slightly optimistic but not too optimistic, should be able to produce enough molybdenum-99 for both the province of Saskatchewan and the province of Manitoba," de Jong said.
"The main point for us is to develop all the technology. So once we've gone through showing that we have the capability and the design to meet all these requirements, then we'll look at how to licence that out."
This is the related announcement at CNSC: "The production of Tc-99m in existing cyclotrons could allow the decentralization of the production, which is now highly dependent on the smooth operation of a few reactors around the world (including one in Canada: the National Research Universal reactor at the Chalk River Laboratories, operated by Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd.)
In Canada, the cyclotrons are certified by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC). “Facilities equipped with cyclotrons are also licensed and regularly inspected by the CNSC, to ensure they are safely operated” said André Régimbald, Director General of the licensing group in charge of regulating nuclear medicine facilities at the CNSC.
"“The CNSC generally sees the use of non-reactor-based isotope production technology – like cyclotrons – as a good way of reducing the amount of radioactive waste typically associated with the production of medical isotopes” commented CNSC President Michael Binder. “I congratulate the team for their achievement, and I can assure the public that the CNSC deals with all regulatory matters regarding medical facilities as a priority.”""
And this is the news on Reuters "Principal investigator Tom Ruth said companies interested in working with the team include Canada's Nordion Inc, along with Lantheus Medical Imaging Inc, Covidien, GE Healthcare, General Electric Co's healthcare equipment unit, and Cardinal Health Inc.
He would not say what stage discussions were at with any party.
"They would be the ones that would take the technology and maybe they would contract the cyclotrons in a province or across Canada or whatever country, and run it as a business," Ruth said.
Ottawa-based Nordion is one of the world's largest suppliers of molybdenum-99. It processes it at an aging nuclear reactor at Chalk River, Ontario, one of the few reactors in the world that produces commercial quantities of the substance."

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