While the restart of Canada's National Research Universal reactor will serve to alleviate the shortage in the molybdenum-99 isotope in the short term, it will not solve problems relating to isotope production and supply in the long term, cautioned Robert Atcher, chairman of SNM's Domestic Isotope Availability Work Group. The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission said lapses in the evaluation of the reactor -- which may permanently shut down in 2016 -- could seriously affect its future reliability, Atcher said.

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