Chalk River Reactor Set to Restart
July 8, 2010 – The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) announced this week it has authorized the reactivation of the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor in Chalk River, Ontario, Canada. It is estimated that NRU will resume medical isotope production by the end of July, after being shut down in 2009 for several repairs.
The Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL) appeared before the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) on July 5 in a public hearing to consider AECL’s application to restart the reactor. During the hearing, AECL presented its case on NRU’s readiness to resume safe operation and the path forward for planned operation and maintenance of the reactor. Progress is being made on completing the many tests, system configurations and tasks required prior to actual restart of NRU. These activities will continue over the next few weeks.
The reactor produces most of the medical isotopes for Canada and the United States. The reactor produces molybdenum-99 (Mo-99), used to produce technetium-99 used in diagnostic nuclear imaging scans.