Yesterday, Canada's Minister of Natural Resources Lisa Raitt and Minister of Health Leona Aglukkaq announced the Government's plan to establish an Expert Review Panel for Long-Term Isotope Supply Solutions. TRIUMF, Canada's national laboratory for particle and nuclear physics, supports these steps and looks forward to contributing to the process.
"This is good for Canada," said TRIUMF director Nigel S. Lockyer. "I am pleased that the Government is taking ownership of the medical-isotope situation. Historically, Canada has been a global leader in this business and these steps will help ensure the future of Canadian healthcare and Canada's position in the world market."
TRIUMF and MDS Nordion announced a partnership agreement in April 28, 2009, to study the feasibility of producing a viable and reliable supply of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) using linear accelerators through a process known as photo-fission. The team will pool expertise, infrastructure, and resources to collaboratively develop a commercialization plan, which will include an operational plan, business model and time lines. A demonstration of the technology in 2012 would provide validation and open the door to commercialization.
Lockyer added, "As a prestigious group of broad experts, the Expert Review Panel will be able to identify the best options for the country. We look forward to the opportunity to submit a competitive proposal and we expect other strong proposals to come forward as well."
--By T.I. Meyer, Head, Strategic Planning and Communications (based on a TRIUMF press release)