Anna Mehler Paperny – Global News
The level train crossing where a fatal collision sheared the front off a bus, killed six people and injured 34 others was flagged as a safety hazard more than a decade ago. In the years since, a plan to separate vehicle traffic was scrapped, even as the roadway got much, much busier.
Friday, August 14, 2009
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY
Canada, once relied upon as a leader in isotope production, is now seen as having reneged on its responsibility to the medical world.
The isotope-producing NRU reactor at Chalk River, Ont., will stay shut down until the spring of 2010, at least – marking the third time Crown corporation Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. has pushed back its estimated restart date since the aging reactor was taken offline in late May when a heavy water leak was discovered.
The news was met with frustration yesterday, and a growing sense among the international medical community that Canada has bungled its nuclear file.
The federal government has convened an expert panel, appointed a special adviser on isotopes and has invested $6-million toward research into alternatives to Chalk River.
But by failing to plan for or respond quickly to the failure of a reactor at the end of its lifespan, Canada is going back on its “implied contract” to provide scarce and much-needed medical isotopes, said Robert Atcher, president of the international Society of Nuclear Medicine.
Saturday, June 20, 2009 – Globe and Mail
ANNA MEHLER PAPERNY
TORONTO — Chalk River is the reason Thad Harroun came to Canada.
The biophysicist and California native had worked with experts in his field on both sides of the Atlantic. But it was Canada’s NRU reactor in Chalk River, Ont., that drew him north. Prof. Harroun did postdoctoral work there and got a teaching position at Brock University. He travels regularly up to the reactor to shine high-powered neutron beams at bits of cell membranes and see what happens.
Or, at least, he did.
Now, he’s stuck in St. Catharines, Ont., research stymied by the same shutdown that has caused a worldwide isotope shortage. And he’s at a loss.