Quebec scientists say they have an antidote for Canada’s medical isotope shortage: the cyclotron. Sherbrooke University Hospital Centre researchers claim they were able to produce radioactive technetium isotopes that are identical to the ones made at the Chalk River nuclear reactor, before it was shut down seven months ago. Now, the scientists are pushing for a network of cyclotrons to be built across the country. A cyclotron is a kind of particle accelerator. “It behaves exactly the same” as a nuclear reactor, said Johan van Lier, professor at Sherbrooke University. But unlike traditional nuclear reactors, cyclotrons do not create nuclear waste. The network “would make Quebec and Canada independent of this technetium that comes from reactor technology,” says Van Lier.
Found: solution to medical isotope shortage
Quebec researchers use cyclotron, not reactor