Dutch extend reactor shut-down through November; docs to postpone exams

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon
Google icon
Petten reactor produces the majority of the world supply of isotopes of technetium. Image Source: Energieonderzoek Centrum Nederland (ECN)  

The High Flux Reactor (HRF) facility in Petten, the Netherlands, a major supplier of medical radioisotopes, has extended its halted production through November.

Earlier this month, the Nuclear Research and Consultancy Group, which operates the recently shuttered nuclear reactor, said it would not restart the reactor before the end of October. However, now that timeline has been extended.

The plant found that some pipes were corroded, and it is drawing up repair plans, spokeswoman Leontien Zuurbier told the International Herald Tribune. She also said that production at the plant would not resume before Nov. 23.

The Petten reactor produces around one-third of the global supply of radioisotopes, while the reactor in Canada provides half.

The European Association of Nuclear Medicine has advised hospitals to postpone non-urgent examinations and use substitutes for the isotope when possible. The association said that EU health officials have launched "coordinated action to ensure adequate supply."