CNL announces membership In Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council

Canada’s national nuclear laboratory joins advocacy group promoting Canada’s role in the production of the world’s supply of radioisotopes

Chalk River, February 20, 2019 – Canadian Nuclear Laboratories (CNL), Canada’s premier nuclear science and technology organization, is pleased to announce that it has joined a growing list of Canadian organizations who are members of the Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council (CNIC). An independent body made up of representatives from the Canadian health sector, nuclear industry and leading research groups, the CNIC was convened to promote Canada’s role in the production of the world’s supply of radioisotopes.

As a world leader in medical isotopes and related research for more than 60 years, CNL is well-positioned to support the CNIC’s advocacy work. Among other accomplishments, CNL helped pioneer the use of Cobalt-60 radiation therapy for the treatment of cancer, and served as a major producer of the world’s supply of Molybdenum-99, which is used in diagnostic procedures. At its peak, CNL provided medical isotopes that were used in more than 20 million diagnostic procedures around the globe every year.

“CNL is proud to be a member of the Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council, an alliance of innovative organizations dedicated to promoting Canada’s leadership role in the research, production and distribution of the global supply of radioisotopes,” commented Mark Lesinski, CNL President and CEO. “For decades, CNL has been a major supplier of medical isotopes, with over one billion treatments conducted using isotopes produced at the Chalk River Laboratories. As we turn our attention to the future, CNL is conducting research to support the next-generation of radioisotopes, which has the potential to serve as the basis of new, ground-breaking cancer treatments. Working with the CNIC, we hope to shed light on this work as we continue to support the health and well-being of Canadians through nuclear science and technology.”

Launched in 2018, the CNIC was established to support Canada in maintaining its leadership position in the production of life-saving medical isotopes by raising public awareness, encouraging industry investment and supporting long-term policies at the domestic and international level. The CNIC also aims to serve as a voice to safeguard the continued availability of radioisotopes, ensuring Canada’s public policies are risk-informed, science-based, and support the highest levels of public health and safety.

CNL recently identified targeted alpha therapy as one of its strategic initiatives, and is working to become a center of international research involving alpha-emitting isotopes at its Chalk River Laboratories site. This form of therapy combines alpha-emitting isotopes with a protein or antibody that specifically targets cancer cells, creating a new treatment that is extremely effective at killing cancer cells without doing damage to surrounding, healthy cells. Targeted alpha therapy has shown remarkable results in laboratory testing, destroying cancer cells efficiently by breaking bonds in cancer cell DNA within close proximity to the isotope, and is garnering growing interest from the scientific and health communities.

“CNL is working to advance new alpha radiopharmaceuticals through collaborations with academic, medical and health science organizations,” commented Bob Holmes, CNL Chief Scientist. “A breakthrough in the production and delivery of these isotopes has the potential to transform the lives of people who suffer from untreatable cancers. Joining other like-minded organizations in the CNIC allows us expand our network to support this work, and better educate the public on the importance of this innovative research.”

In partnership with TRIUMF, CNL recently announced that it will co-host the 11th Targeted-Alpha-Therapy Symposium (TAT11), a global forum for academic and industry leaders to meet and discuss the latest technical, regulatory and clinical developments in targeted radiopharmaceutical therapy. The event will be held from April 1 – 5, 2019 at the Fairmont Château Laurier in Ottawa. For more information on TAT11, please visit or follow the event on Twitter @tat_11_2019.

For more information on CNL, including its work in targeted alpha therapy, please visit

About CNL

Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is a world leader in nuclear science and technology offering unique capabilities and solutions across a wide range of industries. Actively involved with industry-driven research and development in nuclear, transportation, clean technology, energy, defence, security and life sciences, we provide solutions to keep these sectors competitive internationally.

With ongoing investments in new facilities and a focused mandate, Canadian Nuclear Laboratories is well positioned for the future. A new performance standard reinforced with a strong safety culture underscores every activity.

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