Following a market study completed in March 2020, the Welsh government worked with the Organization of Canadian Nuclear Industries, the Canadian Nuclear Association, and Natural Resources Canada on a digital trade mission. The four-day event explored bilateral opportunities in Canada, the UK, and other markets of interest for Welsh and Canadian companies.
As part of the mission, the Nuclear Futures Institute (NFI) at Bangor University had the opportunity to participate and, amongst other opportunities presented, learn of Canada’s isotope sector through the Canadian Isotope Nuclear Council (CNIC).
Bangor University is a world-leading research university engrossed with place-based innovation and a strong focus on the distinctive strengths of the North Wales region. It is also home to the NFI, which is aimed at developing a world-leading capability for Wales in nuclear science and engineering. The goal is to establish North Wales as a global centre in nuclear technology; fostering industrial links and opportunities and works closely with the UK industry.
In recent years, the Welsh government has become more active in both the nuclear energy and nuclear medicine conversations, exploring the future potential of developing small modular reactors and other associated technologies in order to secure a supply for medical isotopes.
Ken Skates, Minister for Economy in North Wales, has even gone so far as to say, “There is huge potential for the development of small modular reactor technologies and there is expertise and skill in the nuclear field in North Wales, with AMRC Cymru and developments at Bangor University, as well as the sites at both Trawsfynydd and Wylfa [on the Isle of Anglesey].”
“This government support and development of the Nuclear Futures Institute is helping Bangor University develop a number of highly ambitious projects in the wider energy sector with a focus on sustainable and secure energy supplies for the future. Recent appointments in the NFI, including Dr Lee J. Evitts as lecturer in nuclear medicine, are extending our capability into new multidisciplinary areas” added Professor Bill Lee, Director of the Nuclear Futures Institute.
“However, in order to be most effective, we must also establish international connections and partnerships that will help support Wales through this nuclear transition. That is why, by partnering with the CNIC and other Canadian companies, we are further enhancing the nuclear expertise and academic capacity of the University. Together, these initiatives will establish North Wales as a global centre of expertise, helping to develop a new generation of scientists and engineers to tackle the urgent need for medical radioisotope production, low-carbon energy and energy security around the world.”
“Quickly bearing the fruits of its labour, the trade mission is already having its intended effect,” said James Scongack, Chair of the CNIC. “We’ve created critical partnerships between Welsh and Canadian companies that will help advance the promise of nuclear energy and medicine. We’re excited to work with Bangor University and the Nuclear Futures Institute.”
“Partnering with Bangor University, whose expertise will be heavily relied on throughout the development of a Welsh nuclear strategy, the CNIC and its 75 member companies will be able to provide their insight, expertise and knowledge to strengthen the global supply chain of medical isotopes, while simultaneously generating export growth opportunities for our own nuclear medicine supply chain,” Scongack said.
About The Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council
The CNIC is a coalition of science, health-care and nuclear-sector organizations to ensure Canada remains a world leader in the production of life-saving isotopes by bringing awareness and supporting long-term policies at the domestic and international level that will save countless lives and support health-care innovation for decades to come. To learn more about the CNIC visit www.CanadianIsotopes.ca and follow us on, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
For more information, please contact:
Canadian Nuclear Isotope Council
About Nuclear Medicine at the Nuclear Futures Institute
The nuclear medicine group was recently created within the NFI to support the Welsh government in establishing a facility for the production of medical radioisotopes.
Dr Lee J. Evitts
Lecturer in Nuclear Medicine
Nuclear Futures Institute