The facility was shut down last Thursday after a power outage.  What this means to patients and hospitals are delays, depending on how long the plant is down.  We don’t produce any isotopes here in the US, but certainly use a lot of them with nuclear surgery, seeding procedures to target tissue areas for radiation and MRI imaging.

Hopefully the down time won’t be too long this time, but the report said by Saturday if things are not up and running, they will have problems meeting the order demands.  BD 

The plant in Canada produces molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), which is the most widely used isotope in nuclear medicine. Mo-99 is artificially produced through the fission process and has a half-life of 66 hours.  We have no Isotope facilities in the US. Covidien, a pharmaceutical manufacturer which distributes the isotopes.

Brachytherapy is a form of cancer treatment where tiny "seeds" containing medical isotopes are accurately placed within and near a tumor. Brachytherapy is FDA approved and used for localized prostate cancer, liver cancer, head and neck cancers, gynecological cancers and others.  BD

OTTAWA (AP) — Canadian officials have again shut down a nuclear reactor that produces much of the world's radioactive isotopes used to diagnose cancer patients through medical imaging.

Patients in line for medical tests to diagnose cancer and heart ailments may have a longer wait as hospitals try to conserve a scarce supply of isotopes, doctors say.

The latest shutdown of an Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. nuclear reactor at Chalk River, Ontario — which provides about half the global supply of isotopes used in medical imaging — is expected to last about a month as technicians repair a leak of heavy water.

Government-owned AECL said Tuesday it has enough medical isotopes for the coming week, but will unable to meet demand by Saturday.

Radioactive isotopes are injected into patients so radiologists can pinpoint areas of higher radiation and spot changes in the body so they can make more accurate diagnoses.

The Associated Press: Isotope shortage could delay cancer tests

Related  Reading:

Medical Isotopes - Will there be enough, treatment delays through October possible at US Hospitals

Rev. Jesse Jackson Touts Medical Isotope Technology

Canada set to order restart of isotope reactor


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