Canadian radioisotope supplier MDS Nordion has signed a strategic cooperation agreement with JSC Isotope of Russia that will give it exclusive rights over the distribution and sales of Isotope's molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) production outside the Russian Federation.
The agreement was signed in Moscow by JSC Isotope general director Andrew Silkin and MDS Nordion CEO Stephen West in the presence of Rosatom general director Sergei Kiriyenko and Canada's ambassador to Russia, John Sloan. JSC Isotope is a Rosatom subsidiary.
The agreement, initially covering a ten-year period, will see Isotope supply Mo-99 to MDS Nordion on an exclusive basis for processing, distribution and sale outside of the Russian Federation. Supplies of Mo-99 have been severely impacted by outages at two of the world's major producing reactors in recent years, and NDS Nordion says the new agreement will secure it a new source of Mo-99, the world's most widely used medical radioisotope.
It will also see the two companies "explore and define areas of collaboration" in the supply, marketing and sale of Russian-produced isotopes. According to Rosatom, the two intend to establish a joint venture in high-tech products for nuclear medicine within the year.
Rosatom deputy general director Evgeny Evstratov was upbeat about Russian plans to increase Mo-99 production. "Isotope, with the support of Rosatom, will be the commercial structure to develop this project becoming one of the largest Mo-99 manufacturers in the world," he said.
MDS Nordion expects to start receiving supplies of Mo-99 from Russia in the the first half of fiscal 2011, although initial quantities of supply will be incremental. Over several years, the company says, it expects to have supply available of up to 20% of global Mo-99 demand to back up its own long term requirements.
Researched and written
by World Nuclear News