SNM recently expressed “serious concerns” about the recent shutdown of a nuclear reactor facility at Petten in the Netherlands, a situation that threatens the ability of countries around the world to access and obtain radioactive isotopes.
The shutdown at the High Flux Reactor in Petten follows a similar shutdown last December of the National Research Universal reactor in Chalk River, Canada by Atomic Energy of Canada Limited.
The nuclear facility at Petten produces molybdenum-99, the most widely used isotope in nuclear medicine.
“A combination of anticipated outages at other production reactors, coupled with unanticipated shutdowns, is simply devastating," said SNM President Robert W. Atcher, Ph.D., M.B.A. “The impact on the patients who are in need of diagnostic tests using these radioisotopes is very serious.”
Atcher, who also works at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, said the United States and other countries are not prepared to adequately deal with the current crisis.
SNM said it is working with partners from other molecular imaging and healthcare organizations to identify and implement potential solutions.