Friday, August 29, 2008

Lunn and Clement know squat about isotope production

On Tuesday we learned that a nuclear reactor in the Netherlands that produces medical isotopes under contract for the AECL (Atomic Energy of Canada Limited) has been temporarily shut down.

Both Lunn and Clement who were on their way to Denver for meetings with oil executives who were in town for the Democratic convention issued quick reassurances that Canada's needs were secure.
Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn issued a statement early Tuesday saying the government is working with Atomic Energy of Canada Limited and suppliers to try to ensure a consistent supply of medical isotopes for Canadians.

Health Minister Tony Clement has issued a similar statement saying the government is working to ensure that Canadians will have the isotopes they need.

The government also says AECL can increase production to help close the supply gap, should a global shortage of isotopes arise.
However today we learn something about isotope manufacturing that apparently neither Lunn or Clement know.

There is a distribution protocol for isotopes in place where the distributor has no control over where it’s customers, the pharmaceutical manufacturers sell the isotopes.
In other words, the company could not guarantee Canadian hospitals would receive any extra supplies produced by Chalk River in the event of a widespread shortage.

The federal government and AECL, similarly, have little control over where the isotopes are sold.
Apparently when there is a possible crisis and you have a plane to catch, the best thing to do is just make shit up.

According to the Post article: Federal Health Minister Tony Clement could not be reached for comment.

Unfortunately we are already aware of that. He is AWOL on other issues too.

References: Tuesday story from CNEWS here and Thursday story from THe National Post here.

1 comment:

James Bow said...

Hi, there. I see that the Blogging Alliance of Non-Partisan Canadians link is no longer on your website. Are you still interested in being a member of the BANPC?