Thursday, December 20, 2007


Don’t you just hate it when the peons won’t back up your bullshit, Creepy Steve? Emphasis gleefully added.

The federal government received correspondence detailing the problems at the Chalk River, Ont., nuclear reactor days before officials acknowledged the crisis, documents obtained by the CBC show.

The weeks-long closure of the facility caused a worldwide shortage of medical isotopes used in tests for cancers, heart conditions and fractures.

A spot check on Nov. 19 prompted the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) to order the reactor in eastern Ontario shut down because no emergency power was hooked up for the cooling pumps, a potential hazard during emergencies such as earthquakes.

While Natural Resources Minister Gary Lunn said he didn't know about the issue until two weeks later, on Dec. 3, CBC News has learned that an e-mail was sent to Lunn's office on Nov. 29 detailing the problems.

"They're called significant development reports. The purpose of these reports is to indicate something significant has occurred," said Barclay Howden, who signed the document for the safety commission.

I realize that the average kool-aid drinking Blogging Tory is a mindless, talking-point spewing fucktard, but who knew the stupidity reaches all the way to the top of the CPC shitpile?

Actually, I did ... and CC, and PSA, and anyone who reads this blog, or has an actual functioning brain, or opposable thumbs ... well, you get the idea.


Anonymous said...


This thing may or may have not been mismanaged I don't know I'm no expert. But here is the problem we only have 1 nuclear reactor. If it goes down then we have the problem that we had.

The reason for 1 reactor in my opinion is that there is a strong opposition to build more not just here in Canada,but world wide. Everytime someone just thinks about building one we have everyone up in arms saying no nukes no nukes. There is a consequence for this when we only just have one.

Its not normal that we supply half worlds population of Isotopes by shutting down 1 reactor here in Canada ?

Here is an example what would happen if the government was not able to reopen the reactor,because it would be to dangerous to do so and thus shut it completely down? The worlds population would be in trouble makes sense anyone?

When I see some of these protest that goes on around the world I'm not so sure that they know what the heck that they are talking about.

I just hope that people could answer me and not turn this into a political debate,because its beyond that in my humble opinion thank you.

Anonymous said...

To all

I know that I made a few typo's on my post 11:49 I was going to fast sorry;)

Red Tory said...

Why don't you do a little research into the subject first before asking silly questions? Google is your friend, you know. Simply amazing what one can learn!

Ti-Guy said...

Tree-wee-a...Between you, a couple of teenagers and a sick cat, I just don't have the patience or indulgence to handle your comments.

Admit you're 9, that you're not supposed to be on the internet right and should be clearing your room, like your momma told you.

Anonymous said...


Answer me this you think its normal that one reactor for Isotopes would deliver half the population of the world? Smart ass Red. Here I'm trying to be civil have a conversation and then you come. Can you just answer the question the way civil people do or are you just a bad manner person?

Red Tory said...

TRIWIA — It is important to realize that isotopes were being used for diagnosis and therapy long before the discovery of nuclear fission, and that even after the discovery of fission cyclotrons and other types of particle accelerators were widely used to produce isotopes for medical and scientific research purposes.

But AECL has deliberately worked over the years to create a market for specialized isotopes that are produced in nuclear reactors, chiefly cobalt-60 and molybdenum-99. Cobalt-60 is a “hard” gamma emitter and is used outside the body to irradiate tumours and to sterilize medical instruments, for example. It has a half-life of 5.3 years and so loses about 13% of its inventory in one year through radioactive decay.

Molybdenum-99 has a half-life of 66 hours, and it decays into a metastable (short half-life) isotope called technetium-99m (the “m” has to be included) which has a half-life of only 6 hours. The technetium-99m is used internally for many many diagnostic purposes. Tc-99m can easily be attached to various molecules which can then be injected into patients. The gamma rays given off by Tc-99m are a lot “softer” than those from cobalt-60 so they give a good “picture” without giving too high a dose to the patient. Because of its 6-hour half-life, Tc-99m does not pose a long-term radioactive waste problem. The Mo-99 is used as a “cow” which can be “milked” to give Tc-99m over a period of many days. Just a few micrograms of Mo-99 is enough to produce enough Tc-99m to be used to diagnose
10,000 patients. However, the supply of Mo-99 has to be uninterrupted or they will run out of Tc-99m in a short time.

The downside to this is that Mo-99 (called “moly” for short) is only produced, now, in a very high-intensity neutron field, which means a nuclear reactor that uses weapons-grade uranium (over 95% enriched!!). AECL’s Maple-1 and Maple-2 reactors were designed specifically to produce Mo-99 using weapons-grade uranium as fuel. NGO’s in the US went to court to stop the shipment of HEU (highly enriched uranium) to Chalk River because there is a US law which is supposed to halt all shipments of weapons-grade materials to other countries. AECL has been told by US authorities that they must develop technologies to produce Mo-99 that do not use HEU; but MDS-Nordion (a private company that markets the Mo-99 that is produced by AECL) shows little sign of taking this seriously.

Another problem: in the past, HEU irradiated fuel has been returned to the USA (Savannah River) from Chalk River where it has been recycled into the bomb program (which uses HEU as “driver rods” in plutonium-production reactors to produce the plutonium needed for warheads). So in this sense, Mo-99 is like a piece of candy that is produced as a byproduct of the nuclear weapons business. Without nuclear weapons it would be too expensive to produce the HEU in the first place, and without the cash credit obtained by returning the HEU to the USA the costs become prohibitive also. I am not sure whether this practice of returning the irradiated HEU is still going on.

Yet another problem is that the Maple reactors cannot be operated safely and so they are at least 6 years behind schedule. The reactors do not operate as the AECL designers said they should, and the difference is a matter of safety — instead of being “self-braking” when the power of the reactor is increased, the Maple reactors accelerate in power when any attempt is made to just increase the power a little bit. This makes the reactors too unsafe to operate.

The NRU (National Research Universal) reactor started up in 1957. It was about 10 times more powerful than the earlier NRX (National Research eXperimental) reactor that started up in 1946. The Gov’t of Canada was reluctant to spend the money to build the NRY reactor, but AECL argued that they could help defray the cost be selling plutonium produced in the reactor to the USA. And that’s what they did — sold plutonium that was of course used in the American bomb program. But the main purpose of the NRU was to produce isotopes of various kinds by using ingenious “loops” that would allow you to insert non-radioactive materials into the loops without shutting down the reactor or opening up the core of the reactor so as to irradiate those materials and make them radio-active. The NRU was also used to test various fuels and components of CANDU reactors. But it is 50 years old now and should have been retired years ago. Since the Maple reactors are not running, NRU has had to be the workhorse, delivering the Mo-99 to the market.

Which raises another question: who makes the profits from this?

In 1988, the Gov’t of Canada privatized the only really proftable part of AECL’s operations, which was the radio-isotope production. AECL sold Nordion International Inc. (formerly the AECL division known as the Radiochemical Company) to the Canada Development Investment Corporation (CDIC) for eventual privatization. In 1991, CDIC sold Nordion to MDS Health Group Ltd. for $165 million, and it was reported that AECL received $150.5 million from CDIC, and that this “together with interest earned thereon between the dates of receipt and disbursement, has been distributed to the shareholder (i.e. gov’t of Canada) by way of dividends”.

So AECL is responsible for designing and building and operating the reactors to produce the isotopes that MDS-Nordion sells for a profit. This also means that the radwaste and the decommissioning of the reactors is a public responsibility through AECL whereas the profits are a private matter for MDS-Nordion.

As of now, it would be difficult to replace the Mo-99/Tc-99m isotope business with something else, but I believe that if nuclear weapons were phased out the entire isotope business as currently practiced would be unaffordable.

There, does that answer your question?

Now go clean your room and stop bothering the adults.

Anonymous said...


Whats wrong with you people I'm trying to have a conversation and you attack. Is this the way you people converse with each other. I know 8 year olds who have more respect then you and your dim wit pal red tory.

lenny said...

"Answer me this you think its normal that one reactor for Isotopes would deliver half the population of the world?"

Um, yes. Normally that's the case. What is abnormal is for one reactor not to be producing half the world supply.

Normal: a form or state regarded as the norm
Norm: a widespread or usual practice, procedure, or custom
Abnormal: not normal

Anonymous said...


The question is,is it normal 1 reactor shut down would cause a shortage of Isotopes? Don't give me the past history of Isotopes. I mean can you understand it?

Red Tory said...

I suspect your jest will go right over TRIWIA's head. Much like practically everything does. Having a "conversation" with this illiterate boob is about as productive as discussing Kantian aesthetics with a turnip.

Anonymous said...

What is your problem Red we just had 1 reactor shut down and half the world population suffered for it. You tell me the normality in that?

Red Tory said...

TRIWIA — It’s not a question of normalcy, you dolt. Obviously, it’s “normal” if that’s what the present situation is. As to whether it’s an acceptable situation to have so much reliance on one plant, well that’s really an outcome of market forces, now isn’t it? Many vital commodities in this world come from limited sources of supply. Are you suggesting that governments intervene to skew this arrangement in the case of isotopes used in nuclear medicine? I mean… what’s your point? You seem to think the “crisis” is the result of not having enough nuclear plants because all those lefty enviro-nazis won’t allow them to be built and hence we have to rely on this old, crappy reactor in Chalk River. Well, I don’t think that’s the case. As indicated in the previous explanatory post (that you clearly were too lazy or dumb to read), it’s more the fact that this is a market that’s been cultivated by AEC and others and the fact it’s precariously based on a limited number of plants has nothing to do with environmental opposition to the creation of new reactors.

lenny said...

May I suggest that your copious talents are best utilized by focusing on your blog and posting more of your shocking and insightful revelations like "Dion trying to make political points".

Red Tory said...

Lenny — What a shocker! Who would have imagined a politician... trying to score political points. Bowl me over with a feather.

lenny said...

It would be hard to follow up on that expose. "Dairy farmers are trying to get more milk from cows!" or "Ford - trying to sell cars!" have potential.
In the spirit of the season, feel free to use them, Triwia.

Ti-Guy said...

I picture Tree-wee-a walking around wearing a hockey helmet all the time, for some reason.

admin said...

Starbucks secretly planning to open more outlets in 2008, sources say...

Anonymous said...


First let me say something to you and others o.k.? My first language is not english alright. So I used the word "normal" in the place of acceptable.
You could have easily said so without being so rude.

Oh by the way Red how is your French you moron?

What I suggest is that if we should have a back up plan that if we lose the reactor for good or for a period of time we would not have a shortage.

Do you know what would have happened if the government or any other government would not be able to start up the reactor,because it would be to dangerous so it would have to be shut down for good.

How would you then feel if you were depended on these Isotopes? This is not a car plant that we could shut down and effect the health of the people of the world.

Anonymous said...

To all

I love it how you people criticize me about my english. We live in the greatest country on earth where we have more then one language spoken
here and you morons automatically assume that my first language is english. It really shows how small minded you people are.

admin said...

While an egregious example, TRIWIA is fairly typical of the Blogging Tory crowd, insofar as being obtuse, incurious and profoundly lazy. He’s obviously got some preconceived notion in his head and is now desperately trying to justify it, turn it to his political advantage or otherwise make hay with it for the sake of seemingly pointless argumentation. All without having the slightest understanding of the situation, the background, the facts, or much of anything really. When he encounters mockery, or resistance from people who are simply tired of wasting their time arguing with him (for the sake of it, apparently), then he gets all indignant and whines about how mean and awful those insufferable lefties are.

Would it ever occur to TRIWIA that perhaps there was no actual “shortage” of isotopes as was being hysterically touted in the media and by the government? In other words, that his whole premise is based on a false assumption. Supplies have been obtained from alternate sources in South Africa and Australia in the past. MDS Nordion had to bite the bullet and pay more for those imported isotopes — so while they lost profits, no shortage occurred. It’s conceivable that this “crisis” was intended more at discrediting a pesky regulatory agency and ensuring maximum profits for the private sector distributor of AECL product. Had AECL and MDS Nordion simply done what they should have in the first place to avoid the regulatory infraction this would have been a non-issue. And, as they’ve done in the past, they could simply have used an alternate source. I’m not saying that’s necessarily the answer, but my point is that these things are usually a whole lot more complicated than nitwits like TRIWIA want to make it out to be. They’d rather take the easy route and make the situation fit into their simplistic little narrative and then hammer away at that. Rush Limbaugh has made quite the career out of this approach to things. Unfortunately the KISS principle doesn’t actually work in real life.

Now we see he's whining about how we're being critical of his English. Quite the contrary, I never assumed English was his first language. I thought it was perhaps his third or fourth. But he blogs in English... so we have to play with the cards we're dealt with.

admin said...

Sorry, that was me. Forgot to switch back from the other ID.


lenny said...

"you morons automatically assume that my first language is english."

Oh right, "Johnny" who blogs in English. Silly us. Your stupidity certainly manages to transcend the language barrier.

Anonymous said...


Have you heard the Liberals say that there was no shortage,because of the shut down? I mean they were in power if there was someone who would know it would be them right?

"Now we see he's whining about how we're being critical of his English. Quite the contrary, I never assumed English was his first language. I thought it was perhaps his third or fourth. But he blogs in English... so we have to play with the cards we're dealt with."

I blog in english,because I can, also because the mass are in english or haven't you notice nitwit.

Red Tory said...

TRIWIA — My French is atrocious. That's why I'd never blog in that language, any more than I would in German or Farsi. However language is a bit of a cheap dodge here on your part because the concept of "normalcy" would be the same in either French or English. In fact, the wording would be pretty much the same in this instance, as in your original question: Il n'est pas normal... So, sorry... you're full of shit there.

As to how I would feel if I depended on these isotopes, well it so happens that in the middle of the "crisis" I had two CT scans that utilized these isotopes and nobody mentioned anything about a shortage.

Anonymous said...

To All Morons

Si je commencerais bloging en français combien d'entre vous ne comprenez?


How many of you would understand if I should blog in French?

Red Tory said...

I’m not going to waste any more of my time “conversing” with you TRIWIA, because it’s futile. This is pretty much one of the major reasons why I stopped blogging over at the other place because it’s just a headache inducing, soul-crushing exercise to engage people like you who are deeply and profoundly stupid. You don’t read, you don’t THINK, and you don’t seem to comprehend much of anything. You’ll yammer on about nothing, dragging out your moldy old tropes and partisan gainsaying and people can expend enormous amounts of time refuting your silly contentions and attempting to set you straight and pointing out in detail where your thinking is incorrect and it all makes no difference whatsoever. Tomorrow, you’ll wake up just a dumb as ever and be right back at it, still just as s thick as a whale omelette.

lenny said...

""In fact, the wording would be pretty much the same in this instance, as in your original question: Il n'est pas normal... So, sorry... you're full of shit there. ""

Heh. Johnny or Jeany - it still spells D-U-M-B.

Anonymous said...


"TRIWIA — My French is atrocious. That's why I'd never blog in that language, any more than I would in German or Farsi. However language is a bit of a cheap dodge here on your part because the concept of "normalcy" would be the same in either French or English. In fact, the wording would be pretty much the same in this instance, as in your original question: Il n'est pas normal... So, sorry... you're full of shit there."

I assumed that in English it was diffrent Red. So I guffed on it you didn't have to be rude about it you could easily mentioned it civilly.

About the shortage I didn't hear any liberals that it wasn't true have you and where link please

Red Tory said...

Look, I’m done with you. It’s a waste of my time. You want to turn this into an anti-Liberal partisan thing and I’ve really got not the slightest interest in going there. Maybe you should go hop on some Liberal blog and argue with someone who might possibly care.

Anonymous said...

I'm not trying to turn anti anything. I'm just telling you where I'm coming from.Also why your so rude period.

Ti-Guy said...

"Si je commencerais bloging en français combien d'entre vous ne comprenez?"

Aucun francophone, j'imagine. Quelle est exactement ta lange maternelle?

Stick to English. Which has never been your problem, as far as I can tell...just run-of-the-mill conservative mental retardation.

...I still think Tree-wee-a's a fraud some kind. I'm just not clear what flavour of fraud he is.

Anonymous said...


An apology from you thats what I'm trying to get from you,but I guess your to small for it.

Anonymous said...

I'm done with you morons have a good day anyways.Don't bother to answer me I won't be on this blog,so I wont see it.

Red Tory said...

TRIWIA is a classic troll and a total waste of time. Are we expected to believe that by some miracle he's not equally stupid en français?

M@ said...

Is Triwia French for "troll"?

Ti-Guy said...

Don't bother to answer me I won't be on this blog,so I wont see it.


Sparky said...

y'know, sometimes it's worth it to confront the trolls...
On another note, as a game, I often think about how many comments a particular post'll generate. When I first read this one, I thought it was maybe a 5--max. RT'd chime in, maybe ti-guy, some slight banter and it'd be done.
Nope--Turns out, 36 (not including this one)...
Eh, suprises.

Anonymous said...

TRIWIA, soyez bienvenue de continuer en Francais...

As for your questions, there are alternate sources for the isotopes, the problem is that it would cost more and the private industry in Canada likes to receive corporate welfare....

The crisis was known in advance and Harper is trying to use this for political gain.

Avez-vous d'autres questions?

KEvron said...