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La autógena del reactor de NRU repara “98 por ciento” termina

por Brendon Nafziger, DOTmed News Associate Editor | June 04, 2010
Chalk River NRU may be
back online next month
Repairs of one of the world's biggest producers of medical isotopes are almost finished, according to Atomic Energy Canada Limited.

The AECL announced Wednesday it had completed 98 percent of the aging National Research Universal reactor's weld repairs, and is on target for an end of July re-start date.

A recent examination of the site found only a "single imperfection" on the final repair, the AECL said. Twenty-one of the reactor's 35 auxiliary operating systems have also been returned to service, AECL said.

According to Society of Nuclear Medicine estimates, the 52-year-old reactor, under repair to fix a leaky vessel since December, had produced close to 40 percent of the world's supply of molybdenum-99, the parent isotope of technetium-99, an isotope critical to many nuclear medicine studies.

The shutdown of the reactor, based in Chalk River, Ontario, has played havoc with the supply chain for medical isotopes, especially as it comes while the High Flux Reactor in Petten, the Netherlands, another isotope-making powerhouse, is also offline for repairs until August.