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OPG and BWXT Make Significant Progress in Production of Life-Saving Medical Isotope at Darlington Nuclear Generating Station

24 September 2020

Darlington to become first large-scale nuclear station to produce molybdenum-99

Peterborough, Ont. – Ontario Power Generation (OPG), its subsidiary Laurentis Energy Partners (Laurentis), BWXT ITG Canada Inc. and its affiliates (BWXT) are making significant progress toward the production of molybdenum-99 (Mo-99) at OPG’s Darlington Nuclear Generating Station. Mo-99 is a much-needed medical isotope used in over 40 million procedures a year to detect cancers and diagnose various medical conditions.

Over the past 24 months, a team of more than 100 personnel at BWXT and Laurentis designed specialized tooling at BWXT’s facility in Peterborough to enable the production of Mo-99 at Darlington. The manufacturing of this specialized tooling is currently underway at the same BWXT facility in Peterborough.

BWXT has also built a fabrication facility at its current location in Peterborough to produce Mo- 99 components that will be delivered by the specialized tooling, which will be installed at Darlington. The tooling will deliver the molybdenum into the Darlington reactor for irradiation, which will enable Darlington to become the first commercial operating nuclear reactor to produce Mo-99.

“This advanced equipment is an example of how Laurentis is maximizing decades of experience within the nuclear industry for the delivery of innovative solutions,” said Dominique Minière, President of Laurentis Energy Partners. “These milestones represent a considerable step forward in the implementation of this industry-leading technology.”

“We are leveraging BWXT’s broad capabilities to design, manufacture, install and service reactor technology in order to support the launch of this innovative solution in partnership with Laurentis,” said John MacQuarrie, President of BWXT Canada Ltd. “Together, we have made tremendous progress towards the production of this crucial medical isotope that is used in more than 80 per cent of all nuclear medicine procedures.”

“We are well underway with the transformation of our nuclear medicine facility in Ottawa to be able to process Mo-99 and manufacture Tc-99m generators,” said Martyn Coombs, President of BWXT ITG. “These generators will be used to make radiopharmaceuticals for patients, and will help to resolve historical shortages of this vital product.”

“Over the last 10 years, there has been a reduction in the accessibility of radioisotopes and this supply issue has only been exacerbated with the onset of COVID,” said Jean Nash, Clinical Manager, Molecular Imaging, University Health Network. “A new, reliable supply will allow for more stable access to medical isotopes and support hospitals and clinicians in Ontario, Canada and beyond to provide better patient care.”

About BWXT Canada Ltd.

  BWXT Canada Ltd. (BWXT Canada) has over 60 years of expertise and experience in the design, manufacturing, commissioning and service of nuclear power generation equipment. This includes steam generators, nuclear fuel and fuel components, critical plant components, parts and related plant services. BWXT Canada’s sister company, BWXT ITG Canada, Inc. (BWXT ITG) provides its customers, who conduct life-saving medical procedures for patients around the world, the benefit of decades of experience in the development, manufacturing, packaging and delivery of medical isotopes and radiopharmaceuticals. Headquartered in Cambridge, Ontario, BWXT in Canada has approximately 1,500 employees at locations in Cambridge, Dundas, Peterborough, Toronto, Arnprior, Pickering, Port Elgin, Owen Sound, Kanata and Oakville, Ontario, and Vancouver, British Columbia. BWXT Canada is a subsidiary of BWX Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: BWXT). Follow us on Twitter @BWXTech and learn more at www.bwxt.com.

About Laurentis Energy Partners:

Laurentis Energy Partners a wholly owned subsidiary of Ontario Power Generation formed in 2012. Laurentis is an industry leading provider of inspection, maintenance, engineering, and project management services for the nuclear, and hydroelectric power generation industries. Laurentis services its base of international clients from offices in Toronto, Ontario; Pickering, Ontario; Tiverton, Ontario; Saint John, New Brunswick and Bucharest, Romania.

About OPG:

OPG is a climate change leader and the largest clean energy electricity generator in the province, providing almost half of the power Ontarians rely on every day. It is also one of the most diverse generators in North America, with expertise in nuclear, hydroelectric, biomass, solar and natural gas technologies.

For further information, please contact:

OPG Media Relations
416-592-4008 or 1-877-592-4008
follow us @OPG

BWXT Media Relations
519-620-5288
nacutler@bwxt.com

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Press Contacts:

BWX Technologies, Inc.

Jud Simmons 
+1 434.522.3800
hjsimmons@bwxt.com

BWXT Canada Ltd.  

Natalie Cutler 
+1 519.620.5288 
nacutler@bwxt.com 

BWXT Nuclear Energy Canada Inc.

Natalie Cutler
+1 519.620.5288  
nacutler@bwxt.com 

Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc.

Laura Bailey 
+1 423.743.9141
lebailey@nuclearfuelservices.com