Toronto – August 16, 2022 – The Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council (CNIC) is proud to participate in a joint Industry Statement to the Tenth Review Conference of the Parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) alongside international and national industry associations covering a wide variety of nuclear applications.
The NPT importantly includes the right of all States to research and develop nuclear energy, science, and technologies for peaceful purposes. The CNIC and the other signatories therefore encourage governments to embrace nuclear technologies in their future policy decisions in addition to their post-Covid recovery plans.
The Industry Statement recognizes several benefits of the development of nuclear technologies in areas like infrastructure and safety, food and energy sustainability, and health-care. CNIC members represent the full spectrum of isotope research, development, and production across a wide range of sectors and industries that impact our everyday wellbeing.
“As a top producer of several essential nuclear isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals, Canada has a distinct role in the international isotope supply chain,” said James Scongack, Chair of the CNIC. “The CNIC is a proud signatory to the joint Industry Statement to highlight the role that nuclear isotopes play in each of these areas, both globally and in Canada. Following this historic international collaboration, we must continue this work together to further highlight the importance of investing in the development of nuclear isotopes and technologies.”
In health-care, nuclear isotopes play a major role in medical research, diagnostic techniques, and the treatment of a wide range of health conditions and cancers. Medical isotopes allow for the personalization of healthcare by tailoring each patients’ diagnosis and treatment to their individual needs. Furthermore, procedures with medical isotopes often offer fewer side effects and allow for shorter treatment durations and reduced hospital stays for patients. Innovation in nuclear isotopes is revolutionizing medical care around the world. As a signatory to the Industry Statement, the CNIC is advocating for increased research and development of these nuclear isotopes to further transform patient experiences.
Isotopes also have applications in infrastructure and in the development of natural resources. Isotopes are used in industrial radiography, which is an effective tool for inspecting materials or travelling through air, soil, water, or even piping. In Canada, the oil and gas sector both rely on isotopes used in fixed nuclear gauges. These gauges utilize high energy gamma rays to measure the level and density of liquids in piping, allowing operators to maintain control and ensure safe practices.
In the food and agriculture sector, nuclear technologies and isotopes are used to assess soil quality and study water and nutrient uptake to improve crops. Nuclear techniques can also be used to reduce pests, and increase food preservation, improving the overall quality of the global food supply.
Together with the other signatories, the CNIC encourages governments to acknowledge the part that nuclear isotopes played in mitigating the spread of Covid-19. Throughout the pandemic, gamma sterilization using Cobalt-60 was used to disinfect more than 40% of the world’s single-use medical equipment like gloves, masks, tubing, syringes, and surgical gowns. As a result, Cobalt-60 helped save lives around the world by minimizing the spread of harmful bacteria.
Importantly, over half of the global supply of Cobalt-60 comes from Canada. As the world pursues post-Covid recovery, we must recognize the role of Canadian producers in supporting the production of life-saving equipment during the pandemic.
Along with the other 20 signatories, the CNIC calls upon States to facilitate the research, development, and information-sharing of nuclear isotope applications. The CNIC urges governments to recognize the economic and social value of harmonizing regulations to facilitate broader access to nuclear isotope technologies and to secure a global supply chain for isotopes.
About The Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council
The CNIC is a coalition of science, health-care and nuclear-sector organizations to ensure Canada remains a world leader in the production of life-saving isotopes by bringing awareness and supporting long-term policies at the domestic and international level that will save countless lives and support health-care innovation for decades to come. To learn more about the CNIC visit www.CanadianIsotopes.ca and follow us on, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
For more information, please contact:
Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council