A significant shortage of Mo-99 is expected for the first half of November. The NTP facility in South Africa, which has experienced problems since late last year, has not yet been able to return to service, and a technical issue has developed with the High-Flux Reactor (HFR) in the Netherlands, which is now on unplanned shutdown.
The unexpected HFR shutdown coincides with a planned 11-day shutdown of the OPAL reactor in Australia that began October 29, so significant shortages of Mo-99 are anticipated starting in early November. With significant shortages anticipated, it is essential that users contact their generator/nuclear pharmacy providers for advice about their local situation. The Association of Imaging Producers & Equipment Suppliers (AIPES) Emergency Response Team is closely following the situation. The group issued an update on October 30, and SNMMI will post updates as they become available.
NTP Radioisotopes in South Africa reports that they expect to meet with regulators this week regarding their request to resume Mo-99 production operations. With OPAL having a scheduled shutdown from July 16 – 20 will make things more challenging. The AIPES Emergency Response Team is scheduled to meet again on July 23, 2018.