AECL to Discontinue Development of the MAPLE Reactors

    Production of Medical Isotopes to be Maintained through NRU Reactor

    MISSISSAUGA, ON, May 16 /CNW/ - Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) is
announcing that, after careful review and analysis, it will discontinue
development work of the MAPLE reactors located at its Chalk River
Laboratories, effective immediately.
    This decision is based on a series of reviews that considered, among
other things, the costs of further development, as well as the time frame and
risks involved with continuing the project.
    "We are making the right business decision given the circumstances,"
stated AECL's President and Chief Executive Officer Hugh MacDiarmid. "This was
a difficult choice given the tremendous efforts expended by our people on
development of the MAPLE reactors. Nevertheless, our Board of Directors and
senior management have concluded that it is no longer feasible to complete the
commissioning and start-up of the reactors."
    The decision to discontinue development of the MAPLE reactors will not
impact the current supply of medical isotopes as commercial agreements between
MDS Nordion and AECL provide for isotope production to continue through AECL's
National Research Universal reactor (NRU) and associated facilities in Chalk
River. NRU currently has an operating site licence from the Canadian Nuclear
Safety Commission (CNSC) that is valid until October 31, 2011. AECL will work
closely with CNSC and MDS Nordion on the requirements for continued production
beyond that date.
    Mr. MacDiarmid added, "We recognize the important role that NRU plays in
the supply and delivery of medical isotopes to patients in North America and
around the world. AECL is committed to supplying medical isotopes from NRU in
a safe and reliable manner."

For further information:

For further information: Dale Coffin, Director, Corporate
Communications, Atomic Energy of Canada Limited, (905) 403-7457

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