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HEU – Link

Space propulsion uses highly enriched uranium – trades off with medical isotopes

NTI 9 (Nuclear Threat Initiative, May 2009, JPG

There are currently three principal uses of HEU (uranium with the proportion of the U-235 isotope over 20%) in the civilian nuclear sector: in research reactors, for medical isotope production, and as fuel in icebreaker propulsion reactors. In addition, HEU has been used in space propulsion reactors and in nuclear power reactors. The two most widespread uses of HEU are as research reactor fuel and as targets for the production of medical isotopes. While many experts believe that these uses could be replaced with LEU or other alternatives, some countries may be reluctant to agree to further restrictions on civilian HEU that would limit these current activities. [See more on conversion efforts, in "Past and Current Efforts to Reduce Civilian HEU Use"] Although there is no international agreement on banning the use of HEU in future research reactors, no new HEU-fueled civilian research reactors with a power level of more than 1 MW have been built in Western countries since the early 1980s, with the exception of Germany's FRM-II reactor. By contrast, seventeen new research reactors worldwide were built using LEU fuels.
Use of HEU fueled reactors is waning – plan causes a massive spike

NTI 9 (Nuclear Threat Initiative, May 2009, JPG

HEU has also been used by the Soviet Union and the United States for space propulsion. Fission reactors (with HEU cores) have been used to power satellites in earth orbit. Such reactors were used extensively during the Cold War by the USSR to power their Radar Ocean Reconnaissance Satellites (RORSATs). Notably, these reactors used 90% enriched HEU fuel. A second-generation TOPAZ reactor was also built (using 96% enriched fuel) and flown by the Soviet Union, although none are currently in operation. Almost all of the HEU material used in these reactors is still in orbit, although the reactors have been shut down. The U.S. also flew one satellite powered by a fission reactor. Interest in HEU-fuelled reactors for satellites appears to have waned.

HEU – Internal – Shortages = Delays

Shortages mean patients don’t get diagnosed

Daily Mail 8 (9/6/8, JPG

Hundreds of patients face delays in diagnosing cancer and other diseases because of a 'severe shortage' of materials needed for scans, experts have warned. A worldwide dearth of medical isotopes used in scans of hearts, bones, kidneys and some cancers will cause delays and cancellations across Britain in the coming weeks. The isotopes are used in more than 80 per cent of routine diagnostic nuclear imaging procedures. Hospitals are receiving less than 50 per cent of expected supplies and this figure is likely to drop even further because three of the five global nuclear reactors supplying them are currently shut down. The way isotopes behave makes them impossible to stockpile. Professor Alan Perkins, honorary secretary at the British Nuclear Medicine Society, said: 'The expected number of people who will be affected is quite difficult to determine. 'But we are certainly talking about hundreds of patients. 'The procedures include cardiac blood flow imaging, bone scanning looking for secondary tumours, lymph node detection in breast cancer, and renal function, which is commonly done in children. 'These patients are going to be facing delays. Clinicians will be addressing the issue on the basis of clinical need.'

HEU – Cancer !

Shortages mean cancer cant be diagnosed

Zakzouk 9 (Mohamed, Analyst in Industry, Infrastructure and Resources Division in Canadian Govt, 9/1/9, JPG

The current shortage limits diagnostic testing (as opposed to therapy), which particularly affects cancer patients, where early and reliable diagnosis is critical.(15) It is estimated that an overall 30% of the global supply is lacking due to the NRU shutdown, with variations across countries and regions. For example, North America, which depends largely on Canada’s Mo-99 supply, is experiencing higher shortages than Europe, where other suppliers are more prevalent.(16) The shortage also varies across Canada, since isotope supplies are managed by the provinces and territories.(17) The cost of a millicurie (a unit of measurement) of Tc-99m has risen from $0.19 to $0.54, which, for example, represents $5 million in added expenditures for Ontario.(18)
Isotopes solve cancer

CBC News 10 (12/23/10, JPG

Modern radiation therapy was pioneered in Canada in 1951 in hospitals in Ontario and Saskatchewan. Cobalt-60 was used in a treatment that allowed medical technicians to target a specific part of the body.The energy given off by medical isotopes is effective at destroying diseased cells. When cancer cells are targeted and destroyed, healthy tissue is left alone.

Cancer is the leading cause of death worldwide

Mulcahy 8 (Nick, writer @ MedScape today, 12/10/8, JPG

Cancer is projected to become the leading cause of death worldwide in the year 2010, according to a new edition of the World Cancer Report from the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Low- and middle-income countries will experience the impact of higher cancer incidence and death rates more sharply than industrialized countries, according to the report. This news is in contrast with another recent report that shows that cancer incidence and death rates for men and women in the United States continue to decline, as reported by Medscape Oncology. The new report was discussed at an event in Atlanta, Georgia called Conquering Cancer: A Global Effort. Cases of cancer doubled globally between 1975 and 2000, will double again by 2020, and will nearly triple by 2030, says the report. There were an estimated 12 million new cancer diagnoses and more than 7 million deaths worldwide this year. The projected numbers for 2030 are 20 to 26 million new diagnoses and 13 to 17 million deaths. The global community can expect increases of incidence of about 1% each year, with larger increases in China, Russia, and India. According to the report, reasons for the increased rates include adoption of tobacco use and higher-fat diets in less-developed countries, and demographic changes, including a projected population increase of 38% in less-developed countries between 2008 and 2030. "The rapid increase in the global cancer burden represents a real challenge for health systems worldwide. However, there is a clear message of hope: Although cancer is a devastating disease, it is largely preventable. We know that preventive measures, such as tobacco control, reduction in alcohol consumption, increased physical activity, vaccinations for hepatitis B and human papillomavirus, and screening and awareness, could have a great impact on reducing the global cancer burden," said Peter Boyle, PhD, DSc, director of the International Agency for Research on Cancer in a statement.

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