MU research reactor changes maintenance schedule to ensure radioisotope supply

Dec 2, 2013

The University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR) is changing its maintenance schedule to ensure global supply of radioisotopes does not run out.

   MURR is a global supplier of radioisotopes which are commonly found in cancer treatments. MURR produces active ingredients that are ready for final manufacturing into final drug form.

   The research reactor is being asked to push back its two week maintenance stoppage because of an unexpected stoppage of some international reactors.

   “There are a handful of research reactors across the globe that provides these types of radioisotopes,” said Associate Director Ken Brooks. “Two of that handful are currently offline in a previously unscheduled fashion.”

   MURR is the only research reactor in the world that operates 52 weeks a year. MURR operates six and a half days a week. Half a day a week they stop for maintenance. The reactor stops for two full weeks every eight years to replace a component.

   MURR planned for a two week maintenance stoppage to occur in December, but is moving it to January.

   “Once every seven to eight years there is a component that needs to be replaced,” said Associate Director Ken Brooks.

   Pushing back the maintenance does not affect the reactor because MURR was planning to stop early on in the year long window they have to replace the component.