Canadian nuclear reactor reopens, supplies ready in a few days

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MDS Nordion technician.
Source: TRIUMF

The MDS Nordion reactor in Ontario, Canada, has resumed operations and the country's Atomic Energy Agency says that new supplies will be ready within days to meet a worldwide shortage. The Chalk River nuclear plant produces isotopes used worldwide for medical imaging and diagnostic scans for fractures, cancer and heart conditions.

Canada's government pushed emergency legislation through Parliament to get it working again while some critics said that the Prime Minister ignored the industry regulator who had expressed safety concerns.

The 50-year old reactor was originally shut down for a week of routine maintenance but the country's nuclear regulator refused to allow it to resume production until a number of safety issues were resolved.

The government's legislation effectively bypassed the regulator's order last week.