MAPLE Reactors Could Solve the Isotope Crisis within 24 months
OTTAWA, July 30 /CNW/ - MDS Nordion, a leading provider of medical
isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals, has submitted a Proposal to the Government
of Canada's Expert Review Panel on Medical Isotope and Technetium-99m (Tc-99m)
Generator Production. MDS Nordion believes that the best answer to the
shortage of medical radioisotopes is the completion and bringing into service
of the MAPLE project. The MDS Nordion Proposal outlines technical and
regulatory requirements needed for the provision of a secure supply of medical
isotopes for the health care system in Canada and around the world.
With no domestic or international sources of supply that can fully
mitigate the current global shortage of medical isotopes, MDS Nordion urges
Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) to complete the MAPLE project to
address this shortage. With expertise and guidance from the South African
Nuclear Energy Corporation (Necsa), owner and operator of the SAFARI-1
reactor, and working with AECL, MDS Nordion believes a solution could be
achieved in an estimated 24 months.
"MDS Nordion is a solutions oriented Company with strong technical and
regulatory expertise. We look forward to working with Necsa on the next stages
of this proposal," said Steve West, President of MDS Nordion. "We believe this
approach provides a good path forward to bring the MAPLEs into service and
provide a long-term supply of medical isotopes for Canadians. This goal is of
utmost importance and we are also supportive of other proposals which may
provide this critical supply."
MDS Nordion urges AECL to honour its long-standing commitment to replace
the National Research Universal (NRU) by bringing the MAPLE facilities into
service. This can be done through AECL collaborating with Necsa on the
adaption of the OSCAR computer codes, which are successfully used by the
world's leading isotope producing reactors. The computer codes are
specifically designed to model research reactor performance and operation and
are being used by the High Flux Reactor in Petten, Netherlands, and SAFARI-1,
in South Africa. Adopting the OSCAR computer codes could be essential to
resolving the existing discrepancy between the predicted and measured value of
the power coefficient of reactivity of the MAPLE reactors allowing them to be
licensed by the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) for safe operation.
During the Standing Committee on Natural Resources session on June 4,
2009, Mr. Peter Elder, Director General, Directorate of Nuclear Cycle and
Facilities Regulation, Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, stated "The issue
is not whether, necessarily, there's any problem with a positive coefficient.
It was a mismatch between the (value) predicted in their safety case in the
computer codes that said it should be negative and the actual measurements in
the reactor that turned out to be positive, which means there was something in
those computer codes that was not modeling what was happening in the reactor."
As a key collaborator in the project, "Necsa is honoured to be considered
part of this important endeavour needed to secure a stable and reliable supply
of Mo-99 and Tc-99m to the market by offering its comprehensive expertise in
the physics and operation of material test reactors and the OSCAR system to
support MDS Nordion's project proposal" stated Rob Adam, Necsa CEO in his
response to the invitation by MDS Nordion to join the MAPLE project.
In addition to the OSCAR computer codes, MDS Nordion is proposing the
construction of a fully licensed production facility to manufacture Tc-99m
generators for distribution to Canadian hospitals in all regions of Canada and
abroad. With previous experience in this area, MDS Nordion will build, operate
and maintain the generator production line, and perform all necessary
activities; including provision of licensed packaging, consumable supplies and
facilitate transport logistics to all Canadian health care centres.
About MDS Nordion
MDS Nordion, a business unit of MDS Inc., is a global leader in providing
medical isotopes for molecular and diagnostic imaging, radiotherapeutics and
sterilization technologies for medical products that benefit the lives of
millions of people in more than 50 countries around the world. MDS Nordion
products and services are used on a daily basis by pharmaceutical and
biotechnology companies, medical-device manufacturers, hospitals, clinics and
research laboratories. Find out more at www.mdsnordion.com
MDS Inc. (TSX: MDS; NYSE: MDZ) is a global life sciences company that
provides market-leading products and services that our customers need for the
development of drugs, and the diagnosis and treatment of disease. We are a
leading global provider of pharmaceutical contract research, medical isotopes
for molecular imaging, radiotherapeutics, and analytical instruments. MDS has
more than 4,200 highly skilled people in 13 countries. Find out more at
www.mdsinc.com or by calling 1-888-MDS-7222, 24 hours a day.
For further information:
For further information: MEDIA: Shelley Maclean, (613) 592-3400, ext.
2414, firstname.lastname@example.org; INVESTORS: Kim Lee, (416) 213-4721,