United States to prepare HEU shipment to Canada as part of a Mo-99 contingency plan

The Department of Energy submitted an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (XSNM3777) requesting a license to export 3.0 kg of highly enriched uranium (2.8 kg of uranium-235, maximum enrichment of 93.35%) to Canada. The license request is part of a contingency plan that would be activated only if the NRU reactor has to resume operations to respond to an "extended global shortage of the medical isotope Molybdenum-99." Unless then, no HEU would be transported to Canada.

UPDATE 04/24/17: The export license XSNM3777 was issued on April 20, 2017.

In February 2015, the Government of Canada announced that the NRU reactor will operate until March 2018. The reactor will not be producing Mo-99 after 31 October 2016, but will remain on hot standby ready to resume production if necessary. (This plan was addressed in the recent National Academies report on Mo-99.)

The most recent export license for supply of 8.1 kg of HEU to Canada, XSNM3761, was requested in 2011 and granted in June 2015.