Dutch Reactor To Resume Operations to Overcome Medical Material Shortage

by VR Sreeraman on  February 13, 2009 at 5:19 PM General Health News
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Dutch authorities have authorised the reopening of a nuclear reactor that produces a third of the world's medical radioisotopes used for medical tests and treatments for cancer and other diseases.

The decision came five months after safety concerns prompted its closure.
 Dutch Reactor To Resume Operations to Overcome Medical Material Shortage
Dutch Reactor To Resume Operations to Overcome Medical Material Shortage

The cabinet has given the owner, the Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group (NRG), conditional permission to reopen the Petten reactor in the northern Netherlands with immediate effect.

"This is in the context of an acute global shortage of radioactive medical isotopes," the environment ministry said in a statement.

"Since Monday, all European reactors for the production of medical isotopes have been shut down for essential maintenance."

The ministry said the permission was granted after additional safety measures were taken.

Activity at the reactor in Petten was suspended following the discovery of air bubbles in the cooling system in August last year.

The ministry said the permission to reopen would be valid until March 1, 2010.

"The reactor is considered to be safe, but does not yet fully comply with permit conditions."

The NRG said in a statement that "within a few days there will be sufficient availability of medical isotopes for the treatment of patients world wide."

Source: AFP
SRM

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