Dear CAMRT Members,
This email is intended to provide you with an update on some recent issues concerning the global isotope supply:
- The AIPES Emergency Response Team (ERT) had a teleconference on October 30th 2018 and received a report concerning an unplanned stop in isotope production at the HFR Reactor in the Netherlands that began on Thursday October 25th. The earliest possible restart date for production is the 31st of October.
- Unfortunately, these technical problems at the HFR coincide with a ten day planned outage for maintenance at the OPAL Reactor in Australia and the ongoing outage at the NTP Reactor in South Africa.
- As a result of these issues the ERT is expecting significant shortages of medical isotopes for the global supply in the first half of November. At this point it is unclear exactly how this will impact Canada’s medical isotope supply chain.
- Additionally the ERT provided an update on the progress the NTP facility in South Africa has made in returning to isotope production. They reported that NTP received permission from the National Nuclear Regulator (NNR) of South Africa on Friday October 26 to proceed with functionality tests and non-radioactive simulated production runs. Tests were successfully carried out over the weekend and on Monday October 29. NTP will submit a report to the NNR by mid-week and then await NNR approval to resume commercial production.
Through the AIPES ERT producers and suppliers are working collaboratively to mitigate the situation, attention to efficient usage of medical isotopes is highly recommended at this time. 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 https://www.cadth.ca/SMART-Tool.
CAMRT, with its partners in the Government of Canada is monitoring the situation closely. We will keep you informed as we receive updated information.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.