Government vs Nuclear Safety

The Ottawa Citizen has a short article that gives a good summary of what’s going on with this current issue of the government voting to re-open a nuclear reactor that the folks responsible for nuclear safety in Canada shut down (for safety reasons).

The gist of it is that this is a small reactor whose purpose is to produce isotopes used in medical scanning equipment.  This is one of the few places in the world this stuff is produced, so the shutdown created a world shortage.

The reason the reactor was shut down was because the rods that are designed to drop into the reactor to stop the reaction in the case of an emergency get jammed and can’t drop into the reactor, thanks to a manufacturing error. 

This seems like a pretty serious problem, and in my opinion, the AECL was doing its job when it shut down the reactor.

The current government has fired nuclear regulator Linda Keen, the woman responsible for the shutdown.

Is the production of medical isotopes worth the risk of a nuclear accident?

Here’s the article:  Why Chalk River’s ‘1957 Chevy’ still has no backup reactor