By Pat WaltersPosted 11.05.2009 at 2:02 pm 7 Comments
The Chalk River nuclear reactor in Ontario doesn't sell a watt of electricity. Never has. But when it sprang a leak and shut down this spring, it threw a multibillion-dollar industry into crisis. Before it broke, the reactor produced nearly two thirds of the U.S. supply of molybdenum-99, or Mo-99, the isotope behind 16 million critical diagnostic medical tests each year. In July, things got worse: The Dutch reactor that supplied the remaining third shut down for a month of repair work.