Canada's National Laboratory for Particle and Nuclear Physics Laboratoire national canadien pour la recherche en physique nucléaire et en physique des particules


An Innovative Solution to the World's Medical Isotope Shortage


Since 2007, the world has experienced several major supply interruptions of medical isotopes, especially Technetium-99m (Tc-99m) when the reactors in Chalk River (Canada) and Petten (the Netherlands) were stopped for unplanned maintenance and repairs.

 The shortage of this isotope was felt around the world by many different types of patients and their families alike. Since those incidents, TRIUMF has been working with a national team to develop alternatives. With funding from NRCan, TRIUMF is developing and deploying a solution that will push medical isotope production from just a few large, global facilities to a system involving local hospitals and clinics that already maintain an infrastructure for producing medical imaging radioisotopes.  This paradigm shift will dramatically modernize the production and distribution of medical isotopes and empower hopsitals and clinics to produce their own full suite of isotopes.

  • TRIUMF and collaborators are using existing medical cyclotrons to implement the direct production of technetium-99m (Tc-99m) without nuclear reactors and without uranium.
  • By enabling regional hospitals to produce and distribute this lifesaving isotope to local clinics, widespread supply disruptions will be an issue of the past.