Tag Archives: Nordion

Guest Blog Nuclear Medicine

The Medical Isotopes Supply Chain

Today’s post comes from guest contributor at Nordion.

Nuclear medicine is one of the most powerful analytical tools available to physicians and patients today because of its ability to provide dynamic views of organ structure and function. Medical isotopes are used to diagnose potentially life-threatening conditions such as heart disease and to treat serious diseases such as cancer.

About one million nuclear medicine procedures are performed in Canada annually. In the U.S., there are some 18 million nuclear medicine procedures per year among 311 million people, and in Europe about 10 million among 500 million people. Canada has been one of the global leaders in the supply of medical isotopes to the world’s medical community. Tc-99m is used in about 80% of all diagnostic nuclear imaging procedures.

Medical isotopes have a short shelf life and therefore cannot be inventoried. Before they can be used in patient procedures, the materials used in nuclear medicine are developed through a multi-step supply chain process.

This graphic summarizes the process.

supply-chain-nordion_graphic-600

Watch this video to understand how medical isotopes make their complex (but necessarily quick) journey, from reactor to patient:

 

CNA2012

CNA2012 Update – The Future of Nuclear is Here

The future of nuclear technology and innovation in Canada is HERE!

2012 Canadian Nuclear Association Conference and Trade Show
Leadership Through Innovation

February 22-24, 2012, in Ottawa.

Patrick Lamarre, President, SNC-Lavalin

Get the inside track on SNC-Lavalin’s acquisition of AECL’s commercial reactor business and what it means for nuclear innovation in Canada. SNC-Lavalin President, Patrick Lamarre speaks on Friday February 24 at the 2012 CNA Conference.

Join hundreds of your colleagues and contemporaries for our three-day networking and professional development conference.

Click here to REGISTER NOW

Steve West, CEO, Nordion

Nuclear medicine was pioneered in Canada. Find out how innovations being made today at Nordion will take nuclear medicine to the next level over the coming decade. Nordion CEO, Steve West, speaks on Friday February 24 at the 2012 CNA Conference.

The full 2012 CNA Conference program includes keynote speakers, panels, Canadian and global nuclear industry updates and more!

Download the 2012 CNA Conference Agenda here

Click here to REGISTER NOW

See you in February!

Thank you to our 2012 SPONSORS

Messages Nuclear Energy Nuclear Medicine Nuclear R&D

Nuclear Industry Update: Denise Carpenter Speaks at Nordion Reception

On June 12, Denise Carpenter, President and CEO of the Canadian Nuclear Association addressed the Nordion VIP Reception in advance of the 16th International Meeting on Radiation Processing. Here’s what she had to say:

President & CEO of the CNA - Denise Carpenter

Thank-you very much for inviting me here today to speak with you at Nordion’s VIP reception.

I truly enjoy taking the opportunity to talk about Canada’s nuclear industry, but am particularly honoured to be here today at the kick-off event for the International Meeting on Radiation Processing here in Montreal.

I had the pleasure this morning of touring The Canadian Irradiation Centre, which is part of Nordion’s commitment to gamma processing. The Centre offers a range of irradiation services including training, testing and development and is truly a testament to the sophistication of the industry and the advancements that have been made.

I often refer to Canada’s nuclear community as a village – we all make one another stronger and together build the infrastructure for a more vibrant and stable future.

Nordion and its global partners are village leaders in this respect. I am a firm believer that health is the most important resource we have and the most essential component of a community.

Quite simply, the Cobalt-60 and related technologies and services your organizations provide or use on a daily basis, prevent disease and infections worldwide.

Without the cohesive global network of highly skilled organizations that are here with us today including the US, Europe, China and South America, this simply would not be possible.

If I can take it one step further, your industries are truly where science and business connect.

Denise at Nordion VIP Reception June 12

Denise Carpenter speaking at Nordion's IMRP VIP Reception

But before I get into specifics, I would like to tell you a bit more about the Canadian Nuclear Association and what it is we do.

The CNA represent over 95 members from the entire spectrum of the nuclear industry – electricity producers, manufacturers, uranium mining and fuel processing, engineering and universities and labour unions.

As an association, our work includes being active with governments and encouraging all levels to recognize the value our industry brings to Canada: a clean energy source, the creation of highly skilled jobs across several sectors, and revolutions in nuclear medicine. The list goes on.

And I am proud to say that we have a strong Canadian legacy of innovation and leadership in the nuclear industry.
From our early days at Chalk River to today, our industry is responsible for developing innovative new products and services that have improved the quality of life of Canadians and people around the globe.

  • We invented CANDU technology.
  • We have created a world-leading uranium industry.
  • We have achieved a record of safe, reliable and affordable nuclear power generation.
  • In fact, nuclear energy is responsible for 15% of Canada’s electricity production and for over 55% of Ontario’s alone.

Despite many inroads, our industry has also faced many challenges in the past year.

Recently, the nuclear industry was challenged by the tragic incident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan.

Our industry, which supports more than 71,000 Canadian jobs, has been working tirelessly to help our Japanese counterparts and derive any lessons learned to improve upon our own safety here in Canada, as we always do.

Safety has always been – and continues to be – the number one priority for our industry. The nuclear safety culture goes beyond geographical boundaries. It is truly global.

While this was a major shock to our industry, it is not a setback. We continue to improve as our industry forges forward.

Since the tragedy in Japan, the Ontario Government has reaffirmed its commitment to the refurbishment of reactors as well as new builds.

These exciting projects will bring new revitalization to the Ontario and Canadian economies as well as our nuclear industry.

To give you some concrete numbers, an independent report released by the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters stated that refurbishing nuclear facilities at Bruce and Darlington will support 25,000 jobs and inject $5 billion into the Ontario economy annually for a decade – with more than 15,000 jobs continuing thereafter.

In Western Canada, the Government of Saskatchewan recently announced a Centre for Research in Nuclear Medicine and Materials Science at the University of Saskatchewan.

The province is investing $30 million over seven years in the new centre, which will make Saskatchewan the focal point for nuclear research and development in Western Canada.

Our effort of continual improvement also includes enhanced communications with stakeholders, and all Canadians for that matter.

Last year, we conducted extensive research and learned that Canadians want to know how nuclear affects them, beyond simply keeping the lights on. We heard that they want to learn more about how nuclear plays a role in healthcare, and most importantly, how it’s keeping their families healthy.

Denise Carpenter June 12 at the Nordion VIP Reception

We thought long and hard about how to communicate this message, and decided to take a multi-prong approach.

Later this month, we are launching an interactive microsite that virtually takes users through different scenarios to learn how nuclear is making Canada better.

A large focus of this site is how nuclear is improving health care in Canada and abroad, from sterilizing medical supplies and devices  to diagnosing and treating illnesses like cancer.

The site poses attention-grabbing questions to visitors, like

‘Did you know nuclear ensures critical medical devices are sterile?’

When the site launches later this month, I encourage you all to take a look and pass it along to your colleagues.

It of course will be an iterative process, and we welcome any recommendations or input you each may have.

We are also using social media as a platform to promote dialogue about our industry and its contribution to health, including our new TalkNuclear Facebook page, Twitter page and our TalkNuclear blog.

While we continue to move forward and leverage these communication platforms, uncertainties do remain such as the Government of Canada’s plans to privatize the commercial interests of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL).

With a majority government now in place, we suspect this process will move along more quickly.

The path forward for the Chalk River Laboratories, Canada’s primary nuclear industry research and development infrastructure, will also be analyzed.

The CNA has developed a position paper on the need for re-investment in nuclear research and development infrastructure as essential to Canada’s future domestic and international competitiveness.

We are advocating for a small expert panel to review the status, potential, and governance of nuclear R&D in Canada.

We believe the Government should give thoughtful consideration to the future of the R&D side of the nuclear industry, regardless of the status of the AECL restructuring

As you all know, continued investment in nuclear, particularly R&D, is the strongest catalyst for our industry’s growth and successful future.

Nordion CEO Steve West. -- Thanks for inviting us to speak at the reception, Steve

Conclusion

I want to thank you again for inviting me to be here this evening.

Our nuclear village is truly global and would not be possible without the strong networks I’ve seen tonight. Your global cooperation will continue to make our nuclear industry stronger and better.

On a day-to-day basis, it might be easy to forget what your work means to people worldwide. Your efforts go beyond the numbers and figures of business. You are in the business of improving lives and preventing disease, each and every day.

For that, we thank you.

Nuclear Medicine Nuclear R&D

16th International Meeting on Radiation Processing

Industry leaders and scientific experts from around the world will gather at IMRP Montreal 2011, the 16th global forum of the international radiation processing community,  to discuss, debate and discover the latest in industrial electron beam, x-ray and gamma ray technology.

Having this international meeting in Montreal is a perfect fit. The city is recognized for its outstanding university research base and advancements in food irradiation, healthcare and life sciences. What’s more is nuclear R&D in Canada supports materials testing and product improvements, medical products and services, training and development of scientists and engineers, and other activities of high value to an advanced economy. Investment in nuclear R&D is an essential investment in the health and safety of every Canadian.

Downloadable Meeting Information
IMRP Content programme (PDF)
IMRP Programme at a Glance (PDF)

Nordion is the Regional Sponsor and Gala Host of this year’s International Meeting on Radiation Processing,  which is very fitting since Nordion is an industry leader in gamma sterilization technologies (see our previous post about their custom-built food-only irradiator). They have created a microsite for the event where you can find out information about their participation at IMRP 2011, including  the following:
• A two-hour tour of the Nordion CIC on June 13
• See what’s new at Nordion by visiting Booth #10-11
• Hear from Nordion research and development experts
• Schedule a meeting with Nordion

Nuclear News Nuclear Pride Nuclear R&D

Nordion Builds North America’s First Food-Only Gamma Irradiator

This is a prime example of how the nuclear industry continues to play an increasingly important role in the lives of Canadians – and North Americans – not only for power generation but for our most basic health and safety too.

Delicious and Safe Produce - Photo courtesy of Nordion

Nordion has built North America’s first gamma irradiator, custom-built to eliminate insect pests from fresh fruit.  Irradiation is commonly used to protect consumers from food-borne disease, reduce spoilage and improve shelf life. Gamma sterilization works by exposing products to a measured dose of ionizing radiation from Cobalt-60 (also supplied by Nordion). This destroys insect pests and helps to reduce harmful bacteria such as Salmonella and E.coli. (E.coli is a serious health threat. An outbreak is underway in Europe right now) And of course, gamma irradiation doesn’t affect the taste or nutritional value of fruits and veggies.

Pallet Irradiator - Photo courtesy of Nordion

 

The irradiator was built for Benebion, a Mexican provider of phytosanitary services to exporters of fruit and vegetables, a USD$7.1 billion industry in Mexico. The plant in Matehuala will have the annual capacity of 300,000 metric tons!

Nordion has been in the gamma sterilization game for over 40 years. CEO Steve West says, “As demonstrated by this new facility, Nordion is able to tailor its sterilization systems to meet its customers’ specific processing needs … Nordion brings unparalleled experience, reliability and expertise to customers such as BENEBION.”

Arved Deecke, CEO of Benebion is happy about the irradiator and says, “The new Nordion irradiator allows us to do just that [serve the produce industry]. Mexico will now be able to export guava at significant volumes and offer tree-ripened quality mangoes, something simply not achievable with the current hot water dipping process.”

Canada’s federal Government and the Canadian nuclear industry have a long history of investing in nuclear R&D. Let’s keep it up!

Read more in Nordion’s full press release.