North American Young Generation in Nuclear (NAYGN) is joining forces with a coalition of Canadian science, health care and nuclear organizations in an effort to ensure the country remains a world leader in the production of life-saving nuclear isotopes. The Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council (CNIC) is an independent organization formed to advocate for Canada’s role in the production of the world’s supply isotopes, which play an important role in health, energy, medicine, sterilization, and even space exploration.
“In the public there is still fear and misunderstanding of radiation.” said Matthew Mairinger, NAYGN’s Canadian Affairs Chair. “That’s why I’m so happy that CNIC was created to spread awareness of how radioisotopes are advancing human life and health. Part of the mission of NAYGN is to educate and inform the public about nuclear and this is a great story to share.”
For decades, the world has looked to Canada as a source of health care innovation and a reliable supply of isotopes to diagnose and treat some of the most serious medical conditions, while also supplying critical sterilization isotopes to keep hospitals and medical facilities clean and safe.
The Government of Canada and the bipartisan Standing Committee on Natural Resources recently declared Ontario’s nuclear innovations a success story, recognizing the critical role that radioisotopes play in the global community, and stated its intention to work with industry, healthcare community and provincial/territorial governments to ensure that the Canadian supply of is brought to the next level.
Today, more than 40 per cent of the world’s single-use medical devices, such as syringes, gloves, implants and surgical instruments, are irradiated and sterilized with Cobalt-60, with Ontario’s CANDU reactors producing 50 per cent of the world’s supply of the isotope.
With the recent closure of Canada’s National Research Universal reactor, a significant supplier of important isotopes for six decades, the CNIC says Canada risks falling behind other countries that are heavily investing in new, advanced radioisotope production to meet global demand.
The council hopes to help maintain Canada’s role as a leader in this field by encouraging innovation and investment in the radioisotope industry by industries and government.