Jan. 27th, 2008

So. There's a nuclear reactor at Chalk River, near-ish Ottawa (200km away, which is near-ish by Canajan standards). One of the things it produces is high-grade medical isotopes.

It was in breach of some safety regulations. It shut down for maintenance, and Linda Keen, head of the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission, told it to STAY shut down until the other stuff was sorted. This caused some problems.

Now she's been sacked, and the media are portraying this as being because shutting down the reactor endangered lives due to the resulting shortage of certain isotopes.

This is a load of codswallop. Yes, there was a shortage for a bit, but other reactors around the world adapted and started making more of those isotopes.

I propose that Linda Keen hasn't been sacked because of the medical isotopes shortage, she's been sacked because of the resulting loss of economic monopoly on those isotopes. I mean, we don't give the damn things away for free, folks.

Discuss.

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