Isotope Update- January 12 Update on NTP in South Africa

Isotope Update- January 12 Update on NTP in South Africa

Isotope Update- January 12 Update on NTP in South Africa

Dear MSWG members and other stakeholders,

This is a follow up to the December 21, 2017 message on the NTP reactor status in South Africa.

  • The Association of Imaging Producers & Equipment Suppliers (AIPES) has confirmed that the NTP reactor has not resumed production. Officials at NTP are in discussions with its regulator and production is anticipated to resume shortly.


  • With the NTP reactor down and planned maintenance of other reactors, the global supply of molybdenum-99 may be reduced by 10% or more from January 15th to the 21st. The situation is anticipated to gradually improve starting the fourth week of January as planned reactor maintenance shutdowns progressively come to an end.


  • It is difficult to predict to what extent this shortfall will directly impact the Canadian supply chain and Canadian patients. However, a 2015 study completed as part of the MSWG Workplan found that our health system could absorb up to a 25% reduction in global supply without significant impact on patients.


  • Producers and suppliers are continuing to work collaboratively during this period to minimize the impact on patients. Given the circumstances, it is recommended that particular attention be made by clinicians to the efficient usage of medical isotopes. For your reference, a link to the Supply Management Application to Rank Uses of Technetium-99m (The “S.M.A.R.T.” Tool) is noted here


  • The Government of Canada is monitoring the situation closely and is committed to keeping you informed as we receive updated information.

As we mentioned in the last update, we are interested to hear if you are experiencing any disruption to your own local supply of medical isotopes. Please send these updates, or any other feedback to Christopher Topham, Director of Advocacy and Communications at

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