Australian news, and some related international items

The politics of ANSTO’s nuclear isotopes – mainly for export, not for home use

Kazzi Jai No Nuclear Waste Dump Anywhere in South Australia, 14  Sept 19 So…..according to ABC’s radio AM and then PM reports yesterday – different reports by different reporters…. the whole situation appears as follows…..The BRAND SPANKING NEW, JUST RECENTLY LICENSED $200 million NEW FACILITY at ANSTO which was built to deal with the aim of increasing our output of 10 million doses per year up from the 500,000 doses per year of Molybdenum 99 , which is used to produce Technetium-99m which is used for IMAGING PURPOSES TO DIAGNOSE various conditions, is down. Keep in mind that this increased production is AIMED AT BEING A MAJOR EXPORT PLAYER ON THE WORLD’S EXPORT MARKET – NOTHING TO DO WITH SERVICING AUSTRALIANS.

Anyway, now there seem to be a FAULTY VALVE and the facility has to be closed down to fix it.

Sooooo……we are required now to source our Molybdenum from overseas. No big deal actually – we have done it many times in the past before – in fact that was one of the reasons why people didn’t want OPAL built as we had sourced our supplies from overseas without problems, and our domestic requirements quite small and remains so today.

But our usual – and yes it is “usual” – overseas source is from South Africa – surprise surprise (home country to Adi btw), and they are down for scheduled maintenance for the next week or so. Sooooo….we are only in possession of 31% of what we normally produce before the facility was on line.

Now here comes the interesting bit. In the Senate Estimates committee hearing 2017 Adi Paterson stated that only 28% of production goes to Australian hospitals, and the rest, 72% goes to overseas export. This figure really hasn’t changed since OPAL came on line back in 2006. Sooo…we in Australia aren’t in any hardship at all given what Adi stated then!

But wait…there’s more! Part of the PM report by the ABC was an interview with a Kalgoorlie doctor saying that he will have to ration and decide which patients need to have this now “short in supply” imaging isotope. Remember it is not a medicine – it is an imaging isotope to detect disease and for organ structure diagnosis. He said that the major cities would not be affected as they can use 3 – 4 alternative ways to diagnose these conditions using CT’s etc but he had no access to that equipment in Kalgoorlie. Given that Kalgoorlie only has a population of 29,000 wouldn’t you think that you would then send these patients TO A CITY CENTRE IN THIS CASE PERTH TO DO THE DIAGNOSIS AND THE FOLLOWUP IF REQUIRED????? I mean – yes it is 600 kms from Perth, but those conditions often need more expert care than is often funded to the smaller centres such as Kalgoorlie…….

September 14, 2019 - Posted by | AUSTRALIA - NATIONAL, health

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