Dutch News

15 May 2014
Possible closure Dutch nuclear reactor will endanger cancer treatment worldwide

The Dutch nuclear reactor in Petten, a world supplier of the vital raw material for the treatment of cancer, might be closed in a few weeks. 80 million Euro is needed to keep the reactor in service, and banks are not prepared to grant a loan. Now the Dutch minister of economic affairs has to come up with the needed emergency loan, otherwise the reactor has to shut down.

The Dutch nuclear reactor in Petten is producing medical isotopes that are used worldwide as a raw material for radio therapy. The Dutch reactor supplies 30% of the world market. On a daily basis around 24 thousand cancer patients are treated with the isotopes from Petten. The reactor is more than 50 years old and has become antiquated. Lately the reactor already had to be shut down because of safety reasons.


According to the Dutch nuclear supervisor the nuclear reactor in Petten is I bad shape. For years a small leak was not noticed and radioactive material was leaking. The rusty valve has been mended provisionally. Also in Canada en Belgium medical isotopes are produced, but there reactor are also build in the sixties of the last century. According to the director of the Dutch reactor the closure of Petten will be a disaster for patients. Not only patients in the Netherlands, but worldwide. Halve billion Euro is needed to build a new reactor, but until now it has been impossible to find the funding.


source: De Volkskrant





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