Due to the continued closure of Canada’s Chalk River reactor, a major supplier of medical radioisotopes, and the historic limited capacity within the nuclear medicine supply industry, there has been a serious shortage of radiomarkers on the market.
To address this problem, Covidien just received the FDA go ahead to source molybdenum-99 radioisotope from Poland’s Maria nuclear research reactor (pictured) to produce technetium-99m for medical applications.
The fairly short lived isotope is used in approximately 80% of nuclear diagnostic procedures, and the initial supply, which should be available next month in the US and Canada, should provide enough material for one million procedures in the first six months.
Image: Maria reactor. Credit: Wikimedia Commons