SECURING THE GLOBAL SUPPLY OF KEY RADIOISOTOPES

NTP’s partnerships with international producers and distributors of radiation products ensures an uninterrupted supply of key products.

The NTP customer promise is based on value, quality, professionalism and service excellence. Our customers, and millions of patients around the world, depend on our ability to deliver quality nuclear radiation products to order, and on time. As our organisation has grown, we have built strategic collaborative supply arrangements and partnerships with commercial and development partners around the globe, helping us ensure we are always able to keep these promises.

In 2009 the unexpected shutdown of the NRU reactor in Canada led to a global shortage of key medical radioisotopes. Hundreds of thousands of urgent medical diagnostic and treatment procedures had to be delayed, or were performed using alternative isotopes.

During this time, NTP Radioisotopes was fortunately able to increase its production of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) and iodine-131, ensuring that there was no interruption in the supply of these life-saving radiopharmaceuticals in South Africa, while also filling additional commercial orders for other parts of the world most affected by the shortage.

This event highlighted the vulnerability of commercial radioisotope producers, and showed the importance of collaborative partnerships within the isotope production industry.

For nearly two decades NTP has maintained a successful consortium supply arrangement with IRE of Belgium. Each organisation has been able to provide back-up Mo-99 supply for the other during times when either plant has been out of operation for maintenance purposes, or when events such as the Icelandic ash cloud have disrupted European and trans-Atlantic air traffic. This partnership with IRE has contributed towards NTP’s status as one of the world’s leading suppliers of Mo-99.

Since 2012 NTP has also been in a partnership with the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) in terms of which a large-scale Mo-99 production facility will be constructed, using NTP’s expertise and technology, at ANSTO’s headquarters in Lucas Heights just outside of Sydney. This partnership will ultimately ensure an uninterrupted supply of Mo-99 even after the planned permanent closures of certain large Mo-99 production facilities in Canada and Europe.

NTP is a member of the OECD Nuclear Energy Agency High-level Group on the Security of Supply of Medical Radioisotopes (HLG-MR). In June 2016, NTP Group MD Tina Eboka was elected as the Vice Chair of the HLG-MR, marking the first time in the group’s history that a major isotope producer has served in the executive.