Report: Planned Canadian reactors flawed
Feb 01,2008 00:00 by UPI

OTTAWA - Two $600 million Canadian nuclear reactors being developed to supply the world with medical isotopes are flawed and dangerous, sources told the Ottawa Sun.

The officials who asked not to be identified said the reactors named Maple 1 and Maple 2 destined to replace the 1957 reactor at Chalk River, Ontario, are 400 percent over budget and eight years behind in deployment.

They said the major technical problem is the nuclear reaction speeds up as the reactor speeds up, creating a cycle of ever-increasing power similar to what led to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in Ukraine.

The existing 31-year-old reactor provides 65 percent of the world's medical isotopes used in cancer treatment. The two new reactors would provide 100 percent of demand plus backup potential, the report said.

Despite the criticism, the federal agency that owns and operates the reactors, Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd., told the newspaper the reactors will be ready for service by the end of this year.

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