SASKATOON, Nov. 14, 2014 /CNW/ - Parliamentary Secretary Kelly Block, on behalf of the Honourable Greg Rickford, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources, today joined research and development teams from Saskatchewan and Manitoba to celebrate a major milestone in the production of medical isotopes using a linear accelerator.
Working together, teams from Canadian Light Source (CLS) in Saskatchewan and Prairie Isotope Production Enterprise (PIPE) in Manitoba have demonstrated for the first time in Canada the ability to use a linear accelerator and a unique generator technology in the production of technetium-99m (Tc-99m), a key medical isotope that is used by health care practitioners across the country for the diagnosis of a range of diseases.
Since 2010, the Harper Government has committed $60 million to fund research and development of non-reactor-based isotope production technologies, specifically cyclotrons and linear accelerators, for the production of Tc-99m. Through this investment, major strides have been made in advancing alternative production technologies to diversify Canada's sources of supply and eliminate the use of highly enriched uranium in the production of Tc-99m.
- Technetium-99m, or Tc-99m, is used in 80 percent of nuclear medicine diagnostic procedures — two million medical scans are performed in Canada every year with this isotope.
- As part of its $60-million investment to advance alternative isotopes production technologies, the Harper Government has committed $17.5 million to support the work of Canadian Light Source and Prairie Isotope Production Enterprise in linear accelerator development.
- The Government's investments are aligned with Canada's commitment to nuclear security and non-proliferation by moving toward eliminating the need for highly enriched uranium in the production of medical isotopes.
"Today's achievement is welcome news for Canadian families and our communities. Our investments in new technologies are supporting new milestones, contributing to reliable global supplies of medical isotopes."
Parliamentary Secretary to the Honorable Greg Rickford, Minister of Natural Resources
SOURCE: Natural Resources Canada
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