Report warns of medical isotopes shortage in USA

The current supply of molybdenum-99 and technetium-99m is sufficient to meet domestic and global demand, but changes to the supply chain before year-end could lead to severe shortages and impact the delivery of medical care, according to a new report by the USA's National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. ...read more
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    The NAS report identifies the risk of a supply problem in the event of an unexpected event with the existing suppliers, it does not state that there will be an actual shortage. The Nuclear Energy Agency of the OECD regularly reviews the market demand and available production capacity for the supply of Mo-99 through the High-level Group on the security of supply of Medical Radioisotopes (HLG-MR) and has concluded that, even without the addition of planned additional production capacity, that ..."Overall, the current irradiator and processor supply chain, if well maintained planned and scheduled, will be able to manage limited unplanned outages of a reactor, or a processor throughout the projection period to 2021."...

    The implications of the concern expressed in the NAS report has been misinterpreted in many news items. The Australian supplier has very recently increased processing capacity by more than 1,000 6-day Ci per week and the Czech Republic reactor has also already implemented additional irradiation capacity which is available to the European supply chain, both actions have increased the reserve capacity available to the market. Supply remains under control.

    The linked WNN report states that the NRU currently supplies 40% of world supply, that is incorrect. As the NRU is close to ending routine production, their production quantities have reduced substantially as the supply chain has already taken the necessary steps to diversify their purchasing to other supply chain members.

    Kevin Charlton, OECD Nuclear Energy Agency - 15 September 2016

  • Anonymous
    Anonymous

    The High-level Group on the security of supply of Medical Radioisotopes (HLG-MR)  have now released a statement concerning the short to medium term security of supply of Mo-99 and the AIPES organisation has also released a Press Release about the supply chains preparedness, both confirm that supply will be assured in the coming period as additional supply chain capacity has been added in preparation for the end of routine production at the NRU reactor in Canada at the end of October 2016. Supply remains under control.