No Nukes!

Are you scheduled for a medical procedure that involves nuclear isotopes? If so, you had better start making arrangements for it as soon as you can: the nuclear research facility in Canada that produces many of the the needed nuclear isotopes is offline. When it went offline in May the first estimate was that it would be down for three months, but now the experts are saying that it will be shut down until at least 2010. To put it mildly, that’s not good.

Atomic Energy of Canada, Ltd. (AECL) is working to fix the problem, but repairing a nuclear reactor is a delicate task – and some physicians don’t think it will ever be functional again. British hospitals are receiving less than 50% of the isotopes that they need and a 2007 shutdown affected 50,000 patients in the United States.

Radioactive Isotopes can’t be stored and must be produced on an “as needed” basis. Do not be surprised if a needed test is pushed back or an alternative test is scheduled.

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