Latest leak could be end of isotope reactor: Engineers

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As radioactive water continues to leak from the nuclear reactor that produces more than half the world’s medical isotopes, Canwest News Service has learned that technicians at the Chalk River, Ont., facility are privately wondering if the end has finally come for the world’s oldest reactor.

A spokesman for the reactor’s operator, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., conceded Wednesday that its declaration that the reactor would stop producing isotopes for “more than a month” beginning Saturday is optimistic but it can’t provide any better timelines until it knows what is causing the leak.

“We’ve given them an optimistic schedule but it’s going to be more than a month,” said Dale Coffin, a spokesman for AECL.

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