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[cdn-nucl-l] MAPLE Isotope Production Reactor 1st Criticality
Canada's first MAPLE nuclear reactor achieved its first criticality at 02:53
a.m on Saturday February 19th. The reactor is one of two specialized MAPLE
reactors for medical isotope production at AECL's Chalk River Laboratories.
A second MAPLE reactor and processing facility are due to start up later
this year, and together they will replace the medical isotope production
presently done in the National Research Universal reactor (NRU - first
criticality Nov 3 1957) at the Chalk River labs. AECL designed and built
the two reactors and processing facility for MDS Nordion (formerly AECL's
medical isotope division that was privatized in the late 1980's, I believe).
NRU will continue to produce medical isotopes until operations are
transferred to the new facilities.
As AECL says "More than 15 million diagnostic, non-invasive imaging
procedures are done each year worldwide, the majority using MDS Nordion's
medical isotopes. AECL is the main producer of medical isotopes for the
global market. It produces isotopes exclusively for MDS Nordion, which
purifies the product and distributes the isotopes worldwide from its
facilities in Kanata, Ontario"
I believe this is the first new reactor to go critical this year. Congrats
to the MAPLE team at Chalk River, Sheridan Park and MDS Nordion. Now to
sell one to Australia for research work ...