Recently, in the Explorer, Ben Love said the French have closed down their recycling program. They have not…and they don’t send their byproducts to Japan. Mr. Love also expressed his doubts about there being a worldwide shortage of medical isotopes. In Canada, Chalk River Labs (CRL), that once produced 30 percent of the world’s supply of the diagnostic medical isotope M99, shut down. This occurred when only one of the world’s four isotope suppliers was producing M99. This is the reason for the worldwide shortage of medical isotopes. M99 is the isotope used in the medical diagnoses of the brain, thyroid, heart, lungs, liver, kidney and bone marrow. M99 continues to be in short supply worldwide. On a different level, and at about the same time CRL shut down, Areva announced plans to build a complex in Bessines, France that will produce lead (pb)-212 for use in treating difficult and aggressive cancers. The Areva plant is scheduled to begin production of Pb-212 in late 2013.


Mary Listug


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