November 21, 2013
Over the past several weeks, multiple molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) production facilities have faced a disruption in the production of this critical radioisotope. Currently the HFR reactor in The Netherlands is shut down due to an issue with one of the control rods. This shutdown may last for up to three months. The SAFARI-1 reactor in South Africa is also shutdown due to a leak that was identified during cleaning. An internal investigation has been conducted and the plant will reopen once an independent review has been conducted by the National Nuclear Regulator. Finally, the NRU reactor in Canada was temporarily out of service several days during the week of November 18. However, the facility reports that it will be back in service by the end of the week.
To mitigate the effects of these HFR and SAFARI-1 facilities being shut down for an unforeseen amount of time, the rest of the Mo-99 supply chain is taking action to be able to meet market requirements through the end of the year. However, due to the delicate situation, there is the potential for temporary supply shortages.
SNMMI will continue to monitor the situation and will keep members apprised over any developments.