Chalk River shutdown: Nuclear inaction puts half-century of innovation at risk

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.

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