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Thursday, December 13, 2007

Nuclear plant to resume producing isotopes

The temporary closure for repairs of the nuclear power plant at Chalk River, Ontario, has been put to an end with the Canadian Parliament's emergency legislation, Bill C-38.

Because the plant is responsible for producing the vast majority of radioisotopes used in diagnostic imaging around the world, the government has decided to permit the reopening of the plant despite the unfinished safety repairs.

Medical tests in the thousands by the time the Parliament passed Bill C-38 on Tuesday. The Senate ratified it today.

Here's :

News Release

December 13, 2007
For immediate release

Government Emergency Legislation Swiftly Ends Medical Isotope Crisis

OTTAWA - Cancer and cardiovascular patients across Canada and around the world received very good news as the Government's Bill C-38 was approved by the Senate and then received Royal Assent by the Governor General.

This Bill, introduced Tuesday by Minister of Natural Resources Gary Lunn and Health Minister Tony Clement and approved by the House of Commons, legislates the safe re-opening of the Chalk River nuclear plant. The Chalk River facility, which belongs to Atomic Energy Canada Limited, supplies more than half of the medical radioactive isotopes used around the globe in testing and treatment of cancer and cardiovascular disease. The unexpected extension of the shutdown of the Chalk River plant caused concern amongst medical professionals and patients who required this medical substance.

"Passage of this Bill into law is wonderful news for patients, their families and loved ones," said Health Minister Tony Clement. "Chalk River will be back up and running, producing medical isotopes, in seven to eight days instead of seven to eight weeks."

"The government responded to this situation with action that balanced safety issues at the Chalk River plant with the urgent need to resume the production of medical isotopes." said the Minister of Natural Resources, Gary Lunn. "With the swift adoption of Bill C-38, we have taken decisive and balanced action to protect the health and safety of Canadians."

You can read Bill C-38 online .

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  1. I do hope that the premature start up and the firing of the liberal appointee who made the decision to close it in the first place results in the desired end -- the production of radioisotopes -- and not in a nuclear accident.

    The precedent of firing the appointee of another government because you disagree with their actions is a dangerous one. Continued good government depends not on politicians who come and go but on those in the bureaucracy who do the work whatever the administration. The move could come back to haunt the Conservatives who have, in two short years, made over 1000 such "political" appointments. The country would be the ultimate loser if such a misguided policy became the norm.

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