ANSTO gave updates today to the Working Group members on two issues – supply for next and coming weeks, and some early indications about when the ANM facility might become fully operational again for domestic supply.
ANSTO is now receiving regular shipments from NTP in South Africa (approx. every 2 days at present). As long as the NTP reactor yields remain good and there are no logistical complications, the importation expected will see us nearly back to 100% of usual domestic availability next week with all sites which normally receive a generator being supplied. There may be slight delays from the usual day of delivery but for most sites it should be close to normal, both in terms of delivery schedule and size of the generator.
ANSTO have provided advanced notice of potential decrease in ability to supply, however, as the Safari reactor (NTP) is being shut down for a prolonged two week maintenance period in the 2nd and 3rd weeks of October. The impacts of this will be felt in the following weeks: weeks commencing Monday Oct 21, 28 and Nov 4. Only a small amount of Mo99 from NTP is expected in the following week commencing Monday Nov 11. ANSTO are currently working to source alternative suppliers for this period, however, at this stage there is no Mo99 supply confirmed. This would mean that there would be no new Mo99 generators available for the last 2 weeks of Oct and first week of November, with very few produced for the 2nd week of November. Obviously we want to avoid the complete cessation of supply but it will be dependent on what other suppliers can provide to ANSTO. As NTP supplies into the larger export market that will also be impacted, further exacerbating the situation.
At this stage ANSTO are awaiting approval from ARPANSA for their plan to repair the ANM facility and to eventually bring it back on line. If approval is granted, the earliest possible return to operation anticipated is in mid-November. This is the best case scenario if everything works out and the repair is effected without complications. Any extra work required will delay this and the likely worst case for return to normal, i.e., when the 2nd dissolution cell is commissioned, is at the end of January.
Until the ANM facility is granted approval to become operational again we will be subject to the uncertainty of importing, namely, yields that are less than we anticipate receiving and flight delays (as happened yesterday).
Given this, sites should try and use all of the Tc99m available as efficiently as possible in the next few weeks, such as bringing scans forward to weeks of relative abundance of Tc99m.
We will provide an update for the following weeks as we receive the information.
NB: This document contains the advice given to ANSTO by the Working Group of AANMS/ANZSNM/RAINS. ANSTO is not required to follow any of the group’s suggestions.
AANMS / ANZSNM / RAINS
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