Medical isotope company urges Canadian government to fulfil its promise to build plant

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 10 June 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2346
  1. David Spurgeon
  1. 1Quebec

    A medical isotope company has urged the Canadian government and the state owned Atomic Energy of Canada Limited to fulfil contractual obligations made in 1996 to build two isotope production reactors to replace the National Research Universal reactor, which was closed earlier this year, causing a worldwide shortage of medical isotopes.

    Originally planned to be fully operational in 2000, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited agreed to build the project, called Maple, for $C145m (£81m; €93m; $129m), to be paid for by MDS Nordion, a producer of medical isotopes, the company says in a news release (

    Steve West, president of Nordion, said, “The solution to the global medical isotope crisis is in Canada. The infrastructure is in place, and with the assistance of an international consortium of nuclear experts, the MAPLE facilities could be producing medical isotopes to the benefit of patients worldwide.”

    Nordion …

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