Technetium 99m – From Reactors to Accelerators – Regulatory and Safety Aspects

Abstract of the technical paper/presentation presented at:
International Topical Meeting on the Nuclear Applications of Accelerators
August 2, 2017

Prepared by:
Abdul Alwani
Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission


For more than three decades, Canada has played a key role in producing and supplying the world with a major source of technetium 99m, the workhorse of nuclear medicine. From 2008 onwards, the sustainability and security of the world supply came into question due to a prolonged shutdown of the National Research Universal (NRU) reactor and another reactor in Europe. Both the Government of Canada and the Canadian nuclear industry, along with scientific and research communities, reacted to the crisis with a number of policy initiatives and R&D programs and demonstrations to ensure a long-term solution. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC), Canada’s nuclear regulator, continues to play an important role in making sure that Tc99 production, whether through conventional methods or new, novel technologies, is safe. This paper reviews how the CNSC prepared to effectively regulate the R&D phase and the potential industrial scale production using accelerators. In addition, the current status of the CNSC-licensed infrastructure and facilities for production, processing and R&D of accelerator-based Tc 99m supply is presented. The requirements they must meet are also discussed.

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