Nordion gets 10-year license extension, welcomes funding for American partner

The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission announced Wednesday it has extended Nordion’s nuclear substance processing facility operating licence for another 10 years.

“We welcome today’s announcement as it follows an extensive and rigorous evaluation of our operations,” Nordion chief operating officer Scott McIntosh said in a statement. “This is great news for our employees, our customers, and for the health-care community around the world.”

Nordion provides medical isotopes and gamma technologies used for the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disease. It has run the Ottawa nuclear substance processing facility since 1972.

It was a good day for Nordion, now a standalone business within Sterigenics International. The United States Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration announced it would give $9.7 million to General Atomics to help their work with Nordion and the University of Missouri Research Reactor Center.

The three organizations have been working together since February to establish a new, reliable supply of medical isotopes using low enriched uranium.

“We are very pleased that our companies’ shared commitment to producing a long-term commercial supply of medical isotopes has been recognized by the NNSA with the award of funding,” Nordion’s president of medical isotopes Tom Burnett said in a statement. “We consider this a major milestone for us and our partners in our goal to facilitate good health care for future generations around the world.”

Nordion and its partners expect routine supply to begin towards the end of 2017.