The European Union (EU) could face a shortage of radioactive isotopes essential for the diagnosis of a number of diseases and for the treatment of cancer, according to authorities and documents.
The EU is the world’s largest producer of molybdenum-99, a radioisotope used in 80 percent of nuclear medicine procedures around the world, including scan tests to detect heart disease and therapies to kill cancer cells, data shows. of the EU.
However, the production of moly-99 depends, above all, on nuclear reactors located in the Netherlands and Belgium, which are becoming outdated.
“If the European production infrastructure, which is becoming outdated, is not replaced, the EU will depend on foreign supplies,” said Michael Stibbe, deputy permanent representative of the Netherlands, during a public session of a meeting of health ministers of the UE in Brussels.
“This could cause severe radioisotope shortages and jeopardize access to vital treatments for all European citizens,” he added, urging the EU to help finance the transition to new reactors.
● A report by Francesco Guarascio