The National Research Universal reactor in Ontario has restarted operations after it was shut down this week for unscheduled repair work. Atomic Energy of Canada Limited said the production of the molybdenum-99 isotope was not interrupted during the temporary shutdown.
A U.K. study found that a 1 degree centigrade reduction in average daily temperature was associated with a cumulative 2% increase in risk of heart attack for the following 28 days. The study also found that elderly people ages 75 to 84 and those with a history of heart disease are particularly vulnerable to the effect of colder weather on heart attack risk, with prolonged exposure to the cold increasing that risk.
The European Commission is calling on European Union states and the European Parliament to seriously consider and promote new methods for the production of the medical isotope technetium-99m. The commission said the seven reactors producing the vast majority of the isotope "are approaching the end of their lifespan."
President Barack Obama on Tuesday signed a $26 billion jobs bill into law that includes $16 billion to help states shore up their Medicaid programs. The bill, which passed the Senate last week, was approved by the House during a special one-day summer session earlier in the day.
Ohio-based Cardinal Health is warning that shortages of technetium-99 could reach critically low levels for the remainder of May. Relief for the industry is in sight, however, with the Chalk River reactor in Ontario and the High Flux Reactor in Petten, Netherlands, slated to restart molybdenum-99 production in mid-summer.