The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) has announced that it has authorized Canada’s Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) to restart the Chalk River Laboratory, potentially helping the international medical isotope shortage.

Last year, a heavy water leak at the base of the Chalk River Laboratory’s reactor prompted the shutdown for repairs to the aging facility. As a result, the supply of medical isotope production for SPECT imaging was severely diminished due to the fact that other international medical isotope producers have also shut down for unrelated reasons.

It remains to be seen how much medical isotope will be produced by the Canadian facility going on line again or exactly when production resumes.

The CNSC statement only said that it had “concluded that AECL is qualified to carry out the activities that will be permitted under its current operating license,” which includes medical isotopes.

Visit the CNSC website for the latest information.

(Source: Press Release)